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Richie Porte (Saxo Bank)
Australian reflects on successful debut season
Bjarne Riis has told Cyclingnews that Richie Porte will stay with Saxo Bank in 2011 but the talented Australian neo-pro has insisted that he still has to decide if he will stay with the Danish team after being approached by several teams.
Porte is reported to be a target for Team Sky and the Fly V Australia team that has already signed Robbie McEwen and is hoping to secure a ProTour licence for 201. Riis hopes to keep him at Saxo Bank as a second team leader behind Alberto Contador.
"I've got a lot of interest after the year I've had. But it's still all to be decided," was all Porte would say to Cyclingnews about his future.
However he was happy to talk about his first season as a professional. He made his professional debut with Saxo Bank this year after racing as an amateur in Italy. He won the time trial at the Tour de Romandie in April, wore the pink jersey at the Giro d'Italia for three days and went on to finish seventh and win the best young rider's white jersey. It was an impressive grand tour debut by the 25 year-old, who just a year before was riding the GiroBio - the amateur version of the Giro d'Italia.
"It's been a dream season for me. I wanted to win a race and I did so at the Tour of Romandie. It's been a big step up but I think I've taken it really well," Porte said.
"It's pretty exciting for me to be going stronger at the end than I was at the start. Hopefully I can go strong the whole season in 2011."
He was often in the thick of the action at the Tour of Britain and described it as the most enjoyable race he'd ridden so far this season. Coming from Tasmania, he admitted the green hills and wet weather made him feel at home.
"It was just good fun to go on the attack and wear jerseys. It would have been nice to ride for GC but I'll come out of it with good form for the world championship," he said.
Worlds time trial and then Lombardy
Porte is riding the time trial at the world championships but was not included in the Australian team for the road race. He will return quickly to Europe after the world championships to ride the end of season races in Italy.
"I'd love to ride the road race but we've got a really strong. When there's guys like Robbie missing out, it shows the strength in depth of the Australian team. I hope to ride the road race in the future."
"I'm looking forward to the time trial. I know the time trial course pretty well because people have been sending me the profile and information. It should be good."
"After the Worlds I'll be coming back to Europe because the Tour of Lombardy is an objective too. Andy Schleck is doing it too but I like racing in Italy and those races suit my style."
By the Tour of Lombardy on October 16, we should know more about Porte's team for 2011.