Porte ready for bigger personal opportunity in 2013, hoping for a secondary leader slot in Giro
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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Porte ready for bigger personal opportunity in 2013, hoping for a secondary leader slot in Giro

by VeloNation Press at 10:06 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Australian says he’s never used banned substances: ‘Such a different culture then compared to now’

Richie PorteAfter a debut season with the Sky team where he mostly dedicated himself to helping other riders win, Richie Porte has said that he hopes to be able to chase some more personal results in 2013.

The Australian won a stage plus the overall in the Volta ao Algarve last February, but after that gave up his chances in order to back leader Bradley Wiggins to overall success in Paris-Nice, the Tour de Romandie, the Criterium du Dauphiné and the Tour de France.

He also played a supporting role for Michael Rogers when he won the Bayern Rundfahrt.

However despite that work for others, Porte had enough left in the tank to register several strong results in those races. He was third in the Crans Montana time trial in the Tour de Romandie and placed fourth overall, was second in the TT and fourth in Bayern Rundfarht, then finished ninth in the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Towards the end of the year he was fifth and sixth in the Vuelta a España time trials, then placed a fine second on the Bola del Mundo mountain stage.

“I thoroughly enjoyed riding for Brad (Wiggins),” he told Cycling Central. "He's a great guy and a great leader, he understands that you are putting your race on the line to help him.

"But personally I'd like to have a few more opportunities to ride for myself next year. I suppose I'm in the second string of things (behind Froome and Wiggins) - though to be honest it'd be nice to step out of the shadow.

"Of course, that's up to myself as well, it comes down to me. I climbed really well this year, but I didn't time trial like I have in the past, like last year and the year before.

"If I put myself in position, the team is there to support me.”

Porte believes that he could have a chance to prove his worth in the first Grand Tour of the year. “What I've been told, if I'm good at the Giro and I think that's where I'll be riding, I'll be having the sort of role that Chris (Froome) had at the Tour - where he was the last guy that needs to sacrifice himself,” he said.

“We've shown that in such a good strong team, you can have two guys up there on GC. If I can go to the Giro and be sort of the 'back up' guy, there's 100km of time trialling so there's a lot of potential for me if I'm riding well.”

Porte burst onto the scene when in his first year racing in Europe, the-then Saxo Bank rider infiltrated a crucial break in the 2010 Giro d’Italia, gained time on the race favourites and then took over the race lead on stage eleven. He rode solidly for the remainder of the race and finished up seventh overall.

Later in the year he was fourth overall in the Eneco Tour, in the Tour of Britain and in the world championship time trial.

His second season with the team saw him give up many of his chances in order to help Alberto Contador in his Giro d’Italia –Tour de France campaigns, plus in other races, but a time trial win in the Tour of Denmark showed he was continuing to develop.

The season just finished confirmed that and if things go to plan, he will be able to build on that progression in 2013.

Says culture has completely changed in the sport:

Porte is racing at a time of turmoil for the sport, with the Lance Armstrong/US Postal Service investigation causing rumblings throughout cycling. He’s only been racing three years in Europe, though, and insists that his generation has very little to do with the problems that went on before.

"I think it's nice for us young guys coming through that times have changed and it isn't the cutthroat business it used to be. I'm happy I am starting my career now instead of ten years ago – it’s easy to judge the guys who have recently confessed,” he said. “But it is obvious I think, that it was such a different culture then compared to now.

"All I can say is thank God we aren't faced with those same decisions today."

Porte warns against the assumption that riders keeping quiet about the subject is a sign that omerta continues in cycling, that there is a code of silence which is being preserved.

"I've never doped in my life, and I have no problems speaking out about these things, but sometimes I wonder why would you bother? Doping is such a touchy issue, as soon as you open your mouth you are in someway linked to it all,” he said. “I think people need to respect that not everybody wants to talk about it, that doesn't mean they're enforcing the omerta or they're doped.”


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