Nicolas Roche's mum came to Ireland for first time in 20 years to see him on DWTS

"It was a great excuse to get her back"

Nicolas Roche and Karen Byrne

Eugene Masterson

Cycling hunk Nicolas Roche has revealed how his French mum Lydia made an emotional return to Ireland for the first time in over 20 years to see him perform on Dancing With The Stars.

Lydia was married to Nicolas's dad Stephen, who famously won the Tour de France in 1987 and accompanied the Dubliner back to Ireland with the trophy to be greeted by hundreds of thousands of people at a homecoming parade.

Nicolas’s mum Lydia

The pair were considered a golden couple of Irish sport and had four children - Nicolas being the eldest - before divorcing in 2004.

"My mum did travel over for the waltz two weeks ago," Nicolas (37) tells the Sunday World. "She loved it. She hadn't been back in Ireland since 1999 since we left.

"It was a great excuse to get her back. She hadn't seen my aunties or my grandparents. She did a little tour for three days to see the family and saw the show and she absolutely loved it."

Stephen Roche

Dad Stephen (62) has not seen him in the series and will be unable to see him in tonight's quarter-final or indeed the rest of competition if he stays in it as he is busy working with the tour of Italy, which starts in over a month.

Tonight, Nicolas and pro-partner Karen Byrne will dance a foxtrot to Frank Sinatra's 'I Love Paris'.

Dancing With The Stars tonight RTÉ ONE 6.30pm

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