Richie Porte believes Tour de France win is possible
Dec 17 2016 12:42 pm CET

Richie Porte believes Tour de France win is possible
Richie Porte believes Tour de France win is possible
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RICHIE PORTE
BMC RACING TEAM

Australian Richie Porte came close to the podium of the Tour de France and is ready to bridge the remaining gap as BMC Racing Team's sole leader in 2017.

Porte suffered a puncture in the early part of the Tour de France and was involved in the infamous Mont Ventoux crash. Despite the setbacks, the 31-year-old still managed to finish in fifth place.

With Tejay Van Garderen now ready to focus on the Giro, Porte will be given the chance as sole leader in the 2017 Tour de France. After one year at BMC, coming from Team Sky, he believes that his current team is the right place for him to spend this important phase in his career.

"I now feel 100 percent like this is my team and I'm happy here," he said at BMC's training camp in Denia, Spain. "I must admit that of course it's hard to change teams but with the way this season has gone it was the right decision to change. I'm just looking forward to getting into 2017 which will probably be the most important year of my career."
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Richie Porte (BMC Racing Team Training Camp, Denia 2016)
Photos by Mary Cárdenas / CyclingPub.com

The rider realizes that now is the time for him to shine as he may well be at his strongest in the next few years. "If I catch myself in the right light in the mirror I've got grey hairs springing up everywhere. I think I'll be at my peak in the next couple of years as an endurance athlete. So I really need to have a massive next few years and I'm ready for that."

Although he still considers there to be a "big four" (Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana, Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali), he does consider himself a contender for the overall Tour de France victory.

"Of course, I think I showed that this year," he said. "Having bad luck along the way I was still up there in contention in the last days. The team is obviously putting a lot of faith in me so of course I see myself as a contender. It's possible."

As the new sole BMC leader for the Tour de France, Porte is aware of the importance of his teammates and the way they feel about him. "That's the thing isn't it, having the respect of the guys. Obviously they're gonna turn themselves inside out for a guy they respect more.

"I think I have a good relationship with all the guys and the banter on the bus before the stages and around the dinner table is always good. From a morale point of view that's probably the way to get the respect from the guys.

"I guess it's just trying to finish the job off, not giving up. I don't think I'm a quitter. This year for sure when we had the bad luck on the road, the guys were always in my corner. I think the guys respect me enough. Obviously we spend quite a lot of time together. Socially we get along and it's just easier to be in a team where everybody gets along."

Talking about his race schedule, Porte mentions the importance of being able to spend enough time with his family and the sacrifice it takes to be a professional cyclist in Europe.

"Obviously being Australian it's a massive sacrifice. I've had three weeks back there to see my family. It's just one of those things isn't it. My wife is English so I have my other family over in the UK. It's a massive sacrifice to be on the other side of the world and not being able to just go and see your family. But I think the success that comes along the way it kind of makes it all worthwhile."

As one of the three riders involved in the 2016 Mont Ventoux crash (along with Froome and Bauke Mollema), Porte hopes that a similar situation never happens again although he does, as time has passed, see the amusing side of the situation.

"It was unbelievable. It still is unbelievable to think what happened there. I didn't think it was funny at the time but now when I look back on it is was kind of comical really. It's the biggest race in the world and you have the Yellow Jersey running up the climb. Then one of the race cars stopped right in front of me and I had no brakes because I had to open my brakes up to make my bike work. It's one of those situations that you just hope never happens again, to be honest."
Photo of Richie Porte by Mary Cárdenas / CyclingPub.com





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