Nicolas Roche feels his move to Team Sky from Tinkoff-Saxo will hopefully take him to the next level on the road.

The 30-year-old also revealed that he hopes this stage in his career is only a halfway point, with another eight years in the saddle ahead for him.

“It's an important move for me for the next two years and hopefully the next eight. I still believe I can go for a long career. Hopefully I’m only half way there,” Roche told RTÉ Sport.

“I still feel there is margin for progress and I think it [Sky] is the perfect team for that.

“They look for marginal gains and I’m really eager and can’t wait to benefit and learn from that as well.

“I still think I can learn a lot. I think cycling is a sport where you’re always learning, and I think [Sky] is the perfect team [to do that].”

“It’s like going from Barcelona to Madrid ... It’s hard for me to say straight away how different it’s going to be" - Nicolas Roche

Leaving Tinkoff-Saxo for Sky, Roche is transferring between two of the biggest teams in cycling.

He likened the experience to moving between Spain’s two most prominent football clubs.

When pressed, he also stated that prior to racing for Sky it is hard to ascertain what differences there are between the two set-ups.

He said: “It’s like going from Barcelona to [Real] Madrid or vice versa. They’re two of the biggest structures in the world. It’s hard for me to say straight away how different it’s going to be.

“Next year I’ll be able to tell you more about the differences between both.”

Roche has been pressing for a place on the Sky roster since 2009 and was very direct in admitting the move is one that he is very content with.

“It took a few tries to get in the team. It’s not like changing a local club. There’s a lot of parameters that go into transfers. For whatever reason it didn’t work out [in the past] and I’m happy this time it worked out. And I think as an Irish rider the approach is very important being close [to home] with a UK team,” said Roche.

At Sky, Roche will ride alongside compatriot Philip Deignan, a rider he has known for a lengthy period and with whom he has a close friendship.

He said: “It’s great to hook up with Philip. I’ve known him for years now and we shared apartments together when we were in Marseille.

“I’m excited to be back working with him. He’s a good friend of mine and lives just down the road from me. It will be good to be training with him all year long.”

Chris Froome is Sky's team leader and the man that Roche will serve and suffer for next season; the 2013 Tour de France winner is a rider that the Irishman knows personally and admires.

“I know Chris Froome a couple of years now – five, six years I would say. I’ve seen him develop and become the rider that he is now,” said Roche.

“From the outside he is someone who is really professional and likes to work on his cadence and seems obsessed with his power ratio.”