Nicolas Roche has shown he is hitting top form in the lead up to the Tour de France with the Irishman winning stage two of the Route du Sud race in France today.

Roche attacked on the day's final climb – Val Louron – with the Tinkoff Saxo rider making his move inside the final five kilometres.

He soloed from there to the finish line, reaching it alone and taking both the stage and the overall leader's jersey.

The race ends tomorrow with a stage to Castres.

Roche's Tinkoff Saxo team will ride to protect his advantage and try to ensure that the he takes what would be the first overall stage race success of his career.

Meanwhile fellow Irishman Philip Deignan (Team Sky) was an impressive sixth in today's penultimate stage of the Tour de Suisse.

Colombian Johan Esteban Chaves (Orica GreenEdge) won over the climb of Verbier, while Germany’s Tony Martin (Omega Pharma Quick Step) retained the yellow leader's jersey.