Father and Son Tour de France Riders: A Healthy Parent-Child Relationship?

With this year’s Tour de France–the ultimate cycling competition–gaining momentum, we just had to focus on one major father-son duo. Irishman Stephen Roche was the tour back in 1987, and ruled many other cycling races while in his prime. He was a rockstar on a bicycle. He’s since retired from riding–instead option to run a French hotel and commentate for Eurosport (so keeping his hand–or voice–in the sport in some way), and his son Nicolas is the one racing.

Not too surprising, Nicolas is expected to possibly win a few stages of this year’s Tour (he placed 35th in Stage 4, and is currently ranked #11 overall), all the while his father is commentating from the sidelines.

On one hand, it’s great that Nicolas followed in his father’s footsteps: He’s participating in a sport that keeps him fit, healthy, and teaches him sportsmanship, among many other things. But can a son taking his father’s path in something so competitive be detrimental, too? It’s so easy to compare number of wins, race times, and so much more.

Nicolas told London’s Telegraph it’s not so bad. “We just deal with it. It is not so much being the son of a famous father that is challenging…We all have fathers who we look up to and are compared with as people and individuals,” he said.

The younger rider insists he is proud of and amazed by his father’s achievements just as much as any other cycling or sports fan. “Dad was a fantastic bike rider end or story and his record speaks for itself. That is not a problem in any way.”

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