Richie Porte: That was the hardest one to win so far
Jan 20 2018 12:39 pm CET

Richie Porte: That was the hardest one to win so far
Richie Porte: That was the hardest one to win so far
Photo of Richie Porte by the A.S.O.

Richie Porte of BMC Racing Team won the Tour Down Under stage to Willunga Hill for the fifth consecutive time on Saturday, but considered this one the most difficult to achieve.

The Australian, who crashed badly in the 2017 Tour de France, confirmed his return in an impressive manner. Attacking at just under two kilometers from the finish following preparing work by Danilo Wyss and Rohan Dennis, the defending Tour Down Under champion managed to stay ahead of the others to take the win.

"I tell you what, that was the hardest one to win so far," he said shortly after taking the victory.

"I think it was such a hard lead in there at the bottom when Education First put it into the gutter. I felt great and the guys looked after me all day but it hurt so much. We talked about it this morning with guys like Simon Gerrans. He has been a fantastic addition to our team.

"I couldn't look back, I just had to go. Of course, you look back a bit and I could see that Jay McCarthy (Bora-hansgrohe) was strong to start with. I think this stage is much better for me than it is for him so I just stuck in. I must admit with 300 meters to go, I almost stopped. Maybe I went a bit too hard."

The win wasn't quite enough for Porte to take the overall lead as Daryl Impey of Mitchelton-Scott finished second at eight seconds, enough to equal Porte's overall time. Impey's previous stage result allowed the South African to put on the ochre jersey.

Last year winning with the ochre jersey was special but this is up there as one of the most special too."

The win is even more meaningful considering the way Porte crashed out of the Tour de France in July. "It has been a tough time," he affirmed. "It was a nasty crash and it knocked me around but I think I can have the best season and I'm motivated for that. I worked hard back in Tasmania and did some fantastic training so I am super motivated for this season. I just hope come July I can be on top form. I have a fantastic bunch of people around me from my team, my wife, and my family."




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