Porte ready for second Giro d’Italia
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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Porte ready for second Giro d’Italia

by Shane Stokes at 8:25 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Australian rider’s form on the up

Richie PorteOne year ago, Richie Porte confirmed his arrival as one of the top young talents in the sport. Starting his first Grand Tour after winning the time trial in the Tour de Romandie, he was part of a massive break on stage elevent and grabbed the Maglia Rosa of race leader. Porte held that for two days, then rode well for the rest of the race and ended up seventh overall and in the white jersey of best young rider.

With the 2011 Giro d'Italia to begin today, Porte has said that he is content that his condition is on the up. “The form is not so bad. I think I am ready…it is my second Grnd Tour. I am really looking forward to starting it and riding for Alberto," he told VeloNation.

“I have been unwell for the last six weeks. I’ve been on a course of antibiotics and finished it last week. My health is getting much, much better. Now it is going to be exciting – I do have good form, my time trialing has proven that, and hopefully I will be there in the third week and be ready to fight for the win,” he said.

As he mentioned in his recent VeloNation blog, Porte was initially due to ride the Tour of California. He was a late call-up to the Giro, with the team realising that his second place in the TT in Romandie showed that he was in good shape. He will be an important element for Contador in the race, although he said that he doesn’t expect to be there when the GC riders are slugging it out at high altitude.

“My job is not in the big mountains, it is more into the bottom of the climbs,” he explained. “I won’t be the first guy used any day. The team time trial is where it starts for me…that is why I am here, to help with that sort of thing.”

Saxo Bank SunGard’s aim will be to do as well as possible in the TTT, if not win it. Riding strongly would hand Contador an advantage over his rivals, and then the Spaniard will try to build on that in the mountains. Porte is clear on who he thinks will be the dangers there. “I think Nibali and Scarponi have both shown great form. Vincenzo is just getting better and better. They have pressure on them – they are Italian guys and they need to win.”


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