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The Irish News Archive - July 10 1998: It's coming home... Tour de France for Ireland's Stephen Roche

Tour de France winner Stephen Roche

ELEVEN years after his historic victory, the Tour de France is finally coming home for Ireland’s Stephen Roche.

Irish cyclists have left an indelible mark on the Tour, and it was fitting that with France otherwise engaged this weekend, organisers should finally honour that contribution.

The first three days of the three-week, 2,310-mile epic, will be spent in Ireland, beginning with the prologue around the streets of Dublin tomorrow which Britain’s Chris Boardman is favourite to win.

Roche, now a Eurosport commentator, will always be assured of his place in the Tour’s record books with his 1987 victory, but this year’s race will also pay tribute to two other Irish greats, Sean Kelly and Shay Elliott.

Few who witnessed Roche’s gut-busting effort up La Plagne that year will forget the sight, as he collapsed at the finish and had to be revived with oxygen.

He went on to victory in the world’s greatest cycle race, as he overcame the challenge of Spain’s Pedro Delgado to wear the yellow jersey of tour champion into the finale on the Champs Elysees in Paris.

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LOUP gained a measure of revenge for their championship defeat by Dungiven when they scored a 3-10 to 1-10 win over the Ulster champions at Drumbeg.

The sides were level, 1-5 each, at the break but a third quarter scoring flurry secured both points.

Dungiven were without eight of their championship team. James Rocks, Mark McCusker and Dermot McAlynn scored the Loup goals, Cathal Grieve netting for Dungiven.

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JOSE Antonio Camacho resigned as Real Madrid coach yesterday – three weeks after taking the job. The 43-year-old, who won six championships and two UEFA Cups with the club as a player in the 1980s, quit following a disagreement over his contract.

He replaced German coach Jupp Heynckes, who was sacked despite leading the Spanish giants to a 1-0 win over Juventus in May to claim their seventh European Cup.

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FRANCE captain Laurent Blanc has been banned for two matches after being sent off in Wednesday night’s World Cup semi-final against Croatia.

Spanish referee Jose Garcia-Aranda showed Blanc the red card after he raised his hand to Croatia’s Slaven Bilic in a 74th-minute incident that has sparked a furious row.

Bilic has been roundly condemned for alleged play-acting. Blanc, who had never been sent off at club level or in his 73 previous internationals, will be replaced in Sunday’s final against Brazil by Chelsea’s Frank Leboeuf. 

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LIVERPOOL manager Roy Evans unveil his summer signings Steve Staunton and Sean Dundee at a press conference yesterday.

Republic of Ireland international Staunton, 29, is thrilled to be back at Anfield seven years after leaving to join Aston Villa in a £1.1million move. Staunton, who has returned on a free transfer, said: “It’s a great honour to be back.''

South African-born Dundee, signed for £2million from Karlsruhe, will play up front alongside Michael Owen and, like the teen sensation, supported Everton as a boy. Evans joked: “He’s another Evertonian that we’ve signed and I hope he’s as good as the other ones we’ve got.”

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