Richie Porte hopes for Tour spot to support Wiggins
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Monday, April 16, 2012

Richie Porte hopes for Tour spot to support Wiggins

by Xylon van Eyck at 3:14 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews
 
Australian also has sights set on Olympics and Worlds

Richie PorteRichie Porte has told VeloNation he hopes to make Team Sky’s final line up for the Tour de France and, after backing Alberto Contador last season, that he is prepared to play a supporting role for the second year running.

The Australian announced himself as a Grand Tour contender when in his first attempt he finished seventh at the Giro d’Italia in 2010. However, he says if he is to be selected for the Tour, he’ll put his full weight behind backing Bradley Wiggins.

“I am on the long list for the Tour and really hope to get selected,” he told VeloNation. “I would be very happy going there to help Brad. With all the time trialling it definitely suits him to get a good placing, so it would be great to help him with that.”

The two riders have been working well together this season, with Wiggins helping Porte win Volta ao Algarve in February. Porte then returned the favour at Paris-Nice where Wiggins successfully won yellow.

Next on the menu for the two is Tour de Romandie, a race in which the relatively unknown Porte announced himself to the cycling world in 2010.

His role there is not set in stone. “I will be going there primarily to work for Brad and will give everything for that,” he said, “although the great thing about this team is we often let the road decide who is protected so anything is possible.”

“With the TT on the last day I am looking forward to that. I got my first pro win in Romandie in the TT in 2010, and was second in the TT there last year, so I do like the race and always seem to do ok.”

Joining Sky clearly seems to have been the right move for the 27 year old. He was a wanted man after his contract ended with SaxoBank and opted for the black and blue colours of the British team this year.

“I am happy with it so far,” he confirmed, speaking of his first months with Team Sky. “It started well at Australian Nationals (he got third in the road race –ed.), and then I was very happy to get the win at Algarve.

“I was nervous starting with a new team but it has gone very well, they are a great group of riders and support staff and I couldn’t ask for more.”

One benefit of the move means that he was reunited with former coach Bobby Julich. The two first worked together at SaxoBank in 2010, and Porte is glad to get the chance to do so again.

“I did notice his absence last year. Bobby is very committed to his job and works very hard, and you can tell he really cares about the riders he works with,” he explained. “He understands me as a rider and helps give me a lot of structure to my training and racing. We are in touch daily and see each other a lot. He is a perfectionist and he definitely knows how to get the best out of me.”

Porte spent much of last year riding for Alberto Contador. He’s had more freedom this year, and while he’s committed to helping Wiggins when required, he also has his own targets.

One of those is to make a very competitive Australian line up for the London Olympics.

“I would love to get selected for the Tour team. After that, I would love to be picked for the Australian team for the Olympics, although with only five places for the road I know it is going to be very competitive.

“After that the Worlds is always a big aim of mine. The time trial this year and also the road race course may suit me, so that would be a big aim.”

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