He leaves Tinkoff-Saxo after two years with that squad and will join up with fellow Irishman Philip Deignan on what is recognised as the biggest team in the world. The move was confirmed by the British World Tour team in a statement, which said: “With 13 Grand Tour appearances to his name, Nicolas has experience in abundance and will significantly add to the team’s firepower on the climbs.
“Joining fellow Irishman Philip Deignan at Team Sky, Roche is an attacking rider capable of racing hard for a team-mate or as a GC contender in his own right.
“In 2013 he finished an impressive fifth place at the Vuelta a Espana. This year he claimed victory in the Route du Sud and claimed a fifth place finish in the 2014 Tour of Britain.”
Roche said: “It’s a great honour to sign for Team Sky and I have the opportunity to ride with some of the best riders in the world.
“I feel that I’m still developing as a rider so now’s the perfect time to join Team Sky and to continue my upwards path. I’m confident that under the guidance of Dave Brailsford and the team, I’ll continue to improve.”
Brailsford added: “Nicolas joins us from Tinkoff-Saxo and becomes the second Irish rider in Team Sky. He brings a wealth of experience, having ridden 13 Grand Tours in his career, and that will be invaluable to the team.
“Nicolas has the perfect character and temperament for us and we expect him to play a key role next season.”
Roche was one of five riders who joined Team Sky. The others are Andrew Fenn, Leopold König, Lars Petter Nordhaug and Wout Poels.
Fenn, who joins from Omega Pharma-Quickstep, is a former An Post-Chainreaction rider and he is Sky’s first Scottish signing. König joins from NetApp-Endura where he was a team-mate of Irish rider Sam Bennett.