We’re delighted to announce our Grand Marshal for 2014, cyclist, Stephen Roche!
Each year the coveted title is given to an Irish person who has represented Ireland internationally, and as one of Ireland’s greatest ever sporting stars, we knew Stephen was a great choice! The Dubliner, will lead the Parade through Ireland’s capital on Monday, March 17th and we know he’ll do a great job!
This has been some week for Roche, as he also officially entered the Giro d’Italia Hall of Fame at an event in Northern Ireland on Tuesday. The tribute to the champion coincides with this year’s Tour of Italy, the second biggest cycling race in the world, which will stage the ‘Grande Partenza’ or Big Start in Ireland from May 9th to 11th. Roche’s success has inspired thousands of cyclists in Ireland, including members of his own family with his son Nicolas Roche and nephew Dan Martin currently competing on the professional tour.
Stephen’s was one of the finest cyclists of his generation, accumulating an impressive 58 professional career wins over his 13 year tenure. 1987 was Roche’s landmark year as he became only the second cyclist in history to capture the ‘Triple Crown of Victories’ winning the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia and the world championship in one season. Roche joins a list of inspirational Grand Marshals ranging from Katie Taylor to Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh to Ronnie Drew.
On receiving the Grand Marshal honour, he commented: “I am an extremely proud Irishman and proud to have flown the flag for Ireland throughout my cycling career. It is a huge honour to have been chosen as Grand Marshal for this year’s St. Patrick’s Festival in a year that Ireland hosts the Giro d’Italia. Throughout my career, I have become accustomed to seeing city streets lined with people but this will be a truly unique experience, one that I am greatly looking forward to.”
And, we’re looking forward to it too!