Saxo Bank believes Porte can wear pink, is a contender for white jersey in Giro
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Saxo Bank believes Porte can wear pink, is a contender for white jersey in Giro

by Conal Andrews at 6:53 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 

Young Australian rider Richie Porte is having a superb run of form, dominating the long time trial in the Tour de Romandie and now lying second overall in the Giro d’Italia after three days of racing.

The 25 year old placed sixth in Saturday’s opening time trial of the race, covering the 8.4 kilometre distance in a time five seconds off that of Bradley Wiggins. However he lost time when he started cautiously on the wet roads, wanting to avoid hitting the deck as he did in the prologue of the Tour de Romandie. Porte was fastest of all the riders in the second half of that test and as a result of his strong showing, now finds himself well within striking distance of the Maglia Rosa.

Directeur sportif Kim Andersen believes that a strong display tomorrow could well see him take over at the top. “I think they are going to create a solid result on the team time trial the day after tomorrow and perhaps they can even take the leader's jersey,” he said yesterday.

“I think Alexandre Vinokourov's strength might actually become a burden for the Astana team on that particular stage as he can rip his teammates to pieces. No matter what, the Giro is wide open in spite of all the crashes and mishaps. Twelve consecutive stages including plenty of climbs without a rest day can create massive destruction in the overall rankings and I am looking forward to seeing what Richie is capable of in the mountains.”

Porte may be riding the first Grand Tour of his career, but Andersen believes that the 2009 Baby Giro stage winner can aspire to do something big over the full duration of the race.

“I would go as far as to say that it would not surprise me if Richie Porte also ranks first in the youth competition when the race is over,” he told Politiken.dk.

“When I look at the standings in the youth competition, it is not easy to spot obvious competitors for Richie. And it is beyond doubt that he possesses an incredible stamina. He does not appear to be the type who fades in a three-week long stage race. Instead, he gets better and better, so it is certainly exciting to follow the next stages.”

Porte said before the race that he hoped to ride well. “I want to get through the Giro d'Italia, but I would really like to do something along the way,” he told Feltet.dk. “I will try to do a solid ride on general classification, but I will not be disappointed if I fall back. I will do my best.”

Three stages in, and milliseconds off the race lead, he is certainly doing that. He’s got a rest day today to think about what lies ahead, and to psyche himself up prior to what will be a very important team time trial tomorrow.

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