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Porte: Don’t rule out Contador for the Tour

Daniel Benson
June 5, 2013, 13:12,
June 5, 2013, 14:13
Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Critérium du Dauphiné
Team Sky's Richie Porte

Team Sky's Richie Porte

  • Team Sky's Richie Porte
  • Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank Tinkoff)

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Spaniard loses major time to Froome and Porte in Dauphiné time trial

There were shades of Lance Armstrong blasting past Jan Ullirch at the start of the 2005 Tour de France in Noirmoutier-en-l'Île when Richie Porte (Sky) cruised by his former team leader Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) in the Critérium du Dauphiné’s stage 4 time trial on Wednesday.

Porte started two minutes behind Contador in the 32 kilometre test and although the Australian always had a fair chance of beating the Spaniard, few would have predicted the sight of Porte overtaking Contador with 4 kilometres of racing left.

Contador struggled throughout the flat time trial, never looking in command and finishing some 3:36 down on stage winner Tony Martin and – more importantly – 2:44 down on his Tour de France rival Chris Froome (Sky).

While Contador has never since reached the same time trial heights of his 2009 season – at least on a consistent level – Porte refrained from overlooking the Spaniard’s Tour ambition, at least completely.

“You can never really rule him out. You wouldn’t have thought Cadel Evans would have finished third in the Giro either. It’s not over yet and there are still a few more weeks. If anyone in the peloton knows how to win the Tour it’s Alberto Contador,” Porte told Cyclingnews.

“It’s not really my thing but it’s always nice to see Alberto Contador’s cars coming back to you. It’s early days but I’m quite happy with that ride.

“At the first time check I had a fair bit on him but it’s always nice to catch Alberto Contador but I didn’t quite expect to catch him that quickly.”

When asked about Contador’s Tour de France form with the race less than three weeks away, Porte gave an indication of the mental blow the Spaniard may have suffered today.

“I’m only Sky’s second man and there’s another fella still in the van who is much quicker than me, so I think that puts us in a good place in the team for the Tour GC.

“I had a month relatively easy and I’ve only really started training in the last couple of weeks. It’s been a good start to the season and to win Paris-Nice was a massive mental gain.”

Finally, Porte was asked why Contador has lost his time trial domination.

“I guess a year with no racing doesn’t help but he was pretty dominant last year in the Vuelta too,” he said. “Maybe he’s a little off his game but he’s still got three weeks to find his A game.”

Jeff41 More than 1 year ago
I'm gloating but I have 300/1 for Porte in this years TDF and a whopping 250/1 for Porte in the 2014 TDF, the bookies are finally running for cover, I think he is in good as form as Froome but team orders are team orders I guess but next year he could be leading sky !
kaparzo More than 1 year ago
dude he aint close to froome in any stage type how can he be a leader lol
delbified More than 1 year ago
porte beat froome in the Criterium International ITT, before helping him win the overall. 300/1 for Porte is pretty damn good odds.
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
Yes Porte beat Froome in the TT... then in stage 3 Froome was actually working for Porte pacing him.. Froome just kept on raising the tempo, didn't actually attack and he dropped the entire peleton including Porte who couldn't hold jis wheel on the climb either... Porte is obviously not at that level yet..
delbified More than 1 year ago
do you reckon maybe in a few years he can target shorter stage races like Paris-Nice? 300/1 is good odds. saying he's not as strong as Froome is not the issue.
philjthommo More than 1 year ago
Did you watch the Criterium International? What actually happened was Froome picked up the pace while Porte intentionally slowed down to make other riders (TJ) do the work to chase him (much like Uran attacked in the Giro). When Porte realized TJ didn't have it in him to chase Froome that is when Porte went to chase down Froome. . . . . . . he was actually catching Froome up the second part of the climb. Please be more informed when you post about previous races.
jalabert More than 1 year ago
Dude what if Porte was protected like Froome was/is? Big difference to being a work horse......big call to say he couldn't .....just sayin!
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
"I think he is in good as form as Froome" ...NO.
Dan Vella More than 1 year ago
Not a bad bet - if Froome falls off his bike.......
barn yard More than 1 year ago
you could have saved your money and spent it on the heroin that you are clearly smoking
Jeff41 More than 1 year ago
How do you know that, in each race they have been together he has had to work for Froome, close than you think, was Porte putting in full 100% in this TT knowing he is working for Froome ?
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
Exactly... in Romandie... Froome actually worked quite a bit for Porte who was leading.. on stage 4 Froome lead up the better part of the final mountain and rode Porte (and everyone else) right off his wheel just by riding hard tempo from the front... no attack..
Cance > TheRest More than 1 year ago
Then u must have watched a different race than the rest of us :O. Porte did the pulling on the front for Froome, and then was gone after his usual Borg pull... Froome did NOT ride Porte of his wheel, since Porte and Sky quite obviously rode for Froome
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
Doh... wrong race... Critérium International Stage 3...
philjthommo More than 1 year ago
Again you must not have watched this race
Jeff41 More than 1 year ago
Just remember Bradley was the same price for the Giro as Froome is now for the TDF, they are by no means certainties !
Daniel Corredor More than 1 year ago
Maybe Contador is finally racing clean. :-)
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
...and maybe Froome and Port and some others are not? There seems to be two levels so far at Dauphine... as a certain cyclist famously said... "not normal"...
DaleUK More than 1 year ago
Terence did you not notice Tony Martin beat them both, why are you not pointing finger at him, oh yeah , he doesnt ride for Team Sky. Its just getting boring Terrence. You have no grounds for suspician.
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
did YOU notice the ITT rainbow stripes on Tony Martin's back?? He's 2 time world champion TT specialist.. If there was a cobbled stage I'd expect Cancellara and Boonen to excel too blow everyone away as well.. if Porte and Froome were up there hanging with Boonen and Cancellara on the cobbles it'd raise mu suspicion too.. specialist are supposed to overhaul everyone else in their specialty.. Tony Martin did what was expected of him..
DaleUK More than 1 year ago
Olympic bronze medalist mean anything ? its hardly a fluke Terence.
LanterneVerte More than 1 year ago
Tony Martin is ill. if he wasn't, he would likely have put a lot more time into Froome. I think if you want to be suspicious you should be asking why Sky have four men in the top six
chrisdwyer More than 1 year ago
Martin seems to be ill or injured a lot, and then suddenly pulls it out of the bag when he needs to. Suspicious? I personally think he's extremely talented, and able to rise to the occasion: others, sadly, are more cynical.
vrusimov More than 1 year ago
World Time Trial Champion Tony Martin did indeed overhaul the expected. It is always laughable to me how some seem to think that climbers can withstand the raw power of heavier, muscled riding specialists like Cancellara and Martin...I can tell you that no less than 4 Sky riders finishing in the top ten is HIGHLY suspicious and reminiscent of US Postal in the Armstrong years...has the exact same feel. Contador getting thumped is a tremendous psychological blow, even though he spins it wildly here. He will not even podium if he arrives at the Tour with this sort of prowess against the clock. I wonder how much "marginal gains" can be made between now and then without the use of a needle. The real truth is that Contador is behind the "enhancement" wars since 2009 and the subsequent "meat" affair.
Raoul Duke More than 1 year ago
grounds for suspicion and hard proof for those grounds are two separate things. One can be suspicious even if one does not have the evidence (and it may or may not be forthcoming). I do find it suspicious how the designated team leader on command seems to always be on a different level than the competition like last year in the TdF when domestiques pulling the Sky train were pulling back attacks by champions over and over and over to now, with different leaders they all seem to be on a different level. Unless they test positive however it only remains suspicion and I'll just watch the races and enjoy them, suspicions or not.
WestinCarpaccio More than 1 year ago
I cannot seem to watch any stage race nowadays without being suspicious of someone.
Frubberduck More than 1 year ago
Apply double standards! Is Dennis also doping as he beat all the Skyborgs
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
listen man.. I don't know exactly what is going on... but those results are's like 2006 when some it was obvious that some people got scared and got off the gear and others thought it was all good to use CERA.. there really seems to be two levels... seems like some riders are doing whatever they have been doing and other maybe have cut out what they were doing... something really weird is going on...
philjthommo More than 1 year ago
I know what is going on. . . . . Money! Sky have a bucket load of it and spend it on very talented riders (Majority of their top riders are very talented TT'er). Both Porte and Froome have proven their TT ability time and time again. (Olympic Bornze and Paris-Nice TT Stages)
deemfingtee More than 1 year ago
Who was the famous cyclist, who said that? I've been looking around but I can't find out who it is.
quiqui More than 1 year ago
Jean-Cyril Robin
Gustavo Medina More than 1 year ago
that is what i thought...i love Sky (mostly because they have Colombian riders) but Froome/Porte form really seems to be suspiciously good...
KampungBoy More than 1 year ago
Likely the riders from Sky are doped. Even Thomas is now faster than Contador in a TT.
philjthommo More than 1 year ago
No Contador was slower than Thomas due to alergies. Please also remember that Thomas is a hugely talented rider with multiple world and Olympic track champion on his palmares and is only now 100% focused on road cycling.
KampungBoy More than 1 year ago
Stop drinking the Sky cool-aid! Track and road cycling are two totally different disciplines. Even Wiggins took several years to develop.
delbified More than 1 year ago
yeah exactly. road cycling is an entirely different discipline. we had an olympic track gold medallist come down to our local club road race and i torched him - he thought he would try a bit of road racing... sucker! he kept crashing as he didn't know how to operate brakes.
philjthommo More than 1 year ago
It is almost like Thomas has been a road racer since 2007. . . . . is that enough time to develop? He also has some sold ITT performances. Wikipedia is a free website with lots of information, please have a look prior to posting garbage.
Jeff41 More than 1 year ago
If Froome was not in the TDF who would you think would win ?
HeadPack More than 1 year ago
Epogene Peduser probably.
Ken Bellone More than 1 year ago
Don't know if Porte has what it takes for a three week tour, but he's shown he can be a top-ten finisher, as he was in the Giro a while back. Froome's six years younger (I think 27 to 33) than Wiggins, so Sky's going with the right horse. Personally, I am going to throw a few bucks on Porte and Van Garderen (just in case) as long shots. Better odds than the lottery. Got to do it through foreign friends as the "U.S", the bastion of freedom, lol, doesn't allow gambling online.
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
Port has upped his game, but let's not get crazy... go watch Tour of Romandie... Porte was leading the race and Froome was "pacing" Porte... Froome dropped Porte and entire peleton by riding hard tempo.. didn't even attack, just ticked it up 'til no one could hold his wheel any more... that actually raise an eyebrow for me... a little Rico like ;) ...Froome should actually cool his jets a little bit.. maybe attracting a little too much attention..
tiz-urkey More than 1 year ago
whether you like contador or not, you'd have to be a lobotomized idiot to rule him out.....Albutero Clentador is super talented grand tour stage racer, dope or no dope......
Raoul Duke More than 1 year ago
Clentador...LOL...some one also said the Steaks are high for Contador....very hilarious. Seriously though I totally agree with you, I like Contador and he has one heck of a record when it comes to Grand Tours. I think he obviously knows how to manage his body, the team and whatever else it takes to win (no doping insinuations at this opening please).
Evan Shaw More than 1 year ago
There are good reasons to consider that Contador, with his slight physique should ever have been capable of his best TT times without PED use. Now, more than ever, this must be considered as his performances in TT are in line with his small physique. What will be interesting is to see, like Pantani, that his pistolero climbing style is curtailed without PED use. My bet is on him being unspectacular now that micro dosing of EPO, cortisone, and testosterone are much more testable and closely watched out of season and in. No I am not a hater nor lover of Contador, just interested in having a way forward where there is no omerta and any of us who see genuine reasons to have concerns are not shouted down like the Armstrong years.
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
Evan Shaw.. that's a myth... there is no physiological, aerodynamic or other reason that a small rider should perform worse at TTs than a larger rider... it's BS... small and slight riders have an advantage on hill it just comes down to power to weight.. on the flat both small and large riders should perform about the same... I think people mistake a larger number of big riders able to be competitive in TTs vs cycling generally as bigger riders actually being at an advantage.. bigger riders are really just not disadvantaged on flat TT's not that they have an advantage... please explain to us in detail why a larger rider should be expected to perform better in a TT than a small rider...
nickl81 More than 1 year ago
Actually, I would say that larger riders are at an advantage on flat TTs. Power to weight is much less important on flat courses, and absolute average power is more important. A bigger rider can put out more power, hence can go faster on the flat. A smaller rider could be putting out more watts per kilo on a flat course than a bigger rider, but still get beaten by the bigger rider.
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
Ritchie Porte (5'7", 140lbs) is SMALLER than Contador (5'9", 140lbs) Chris Bordman (5'9", 150lbs) who held the world hr record multiple times and is one of the best TTist of all time is Conador size (5'9", 140lbs)... the premiss itself is false... bigger guys do not actually perform better in TTs than small guys.. the premiss is not actually true.. absolutely, bigger guys have bigger legs and bigger lungs, heart etc and can put out more power, but they also need to push that proportionally huge carcass through the air... there is a small disparity to the advantage of a larger guy in the frontal area that a bigger guy can assume, but this is offset because of the way the UCI regulates position on a TT bike and smaller guys can actually legally assume a more aerodynamic position (closer to the superman position) than bigger guys.. it evens out... there have been so many comparisons and all have come to the conclusion that there is not an advantage to being bigger in a flat TT... the premiss is false and the pseudo science is false... like I said I think what people are observing is that larger riders are not DISADVANTAGED in flat TTs so there are much more of them at the top there unlike in cycling in general where anytime climbing is involved disadvantages larger riders.. people just see more of them at the top, but seeing more of them at the top make sense, but there are still little guys with big engines at the top too...
nickl81 More than 1 year ago
I agree with some of what you say, but disagree with other bits. I agree with what Raoul says. I think it's about height and weight - I think Boardman was actually about 70kg, which is a fair bit heavier than Contador, so I think he was capable of higher power levels. I agree that smaller riders can have smaller frontal areas, which helps, but I suspect that the percentage difference in frontal area is quite small compared to the percentage difference in weight and power. I agree that Porte did a very impressive time, and that he quite small and light - I suspect he is a bit heavier than Contador at the moment, but also that he is naturally a better time trialist.
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
nickl81 - Contador was Spanish U23 time trial champ, his first professional win was ITT at tour of Poland.. people don't realize it but he actually does have a TT pedigree from an early age.. he got away from it but came back to it when he started concentrating on stage racing...
Aus Sau More than 1 year ago
Don't forget Porte comes from a triathlon background, and therefore is more adept at TTs.
Raoul Duke More than 1 year ago
just speculating (since I am tall) that one then has very long bones and hence very long muscles, which when fully developed, have a much larger volume than can be achieved by a smaller rider. Hence more power delivery. Being tall you do suffer a little more in the wind though. Being tall also provides you with longer, usually bigger lungs. When I get x-rays they have trouble because of the length of my lungs. Had a good motor in my day. Look at Tony Matin, 6'1" and look at his leg development in the photos. The volume of those muscles is huge compared to a much smaller rider. Add big lungs and some training and genetics and there you go.
Raoul Duke More than 1 year ago
just saw your post below had to click "show more comments' before they appeared. don't think it's bs at all. On a flatter course the power generation of a Tony Martin more than compensates for any other variable. and I'm sure he has spent more than a little while in the wind tunnel as well. "Proportionally larger frontal area" like to see some data to confirm that. I suspect his frontal area in TT positon is less than you would expect. More power "in an absolute sense" well obviously more power on the road as well. This is bs is too strong a statement
Drissmalet More than 1 year ago
Just wait till the Tour. Regardless of what you say of Contador , he WILL be there. He still remains the best rider of his generation and until Froome beats him a grand tour I would not necessarily write him off, especially not at age 30 That said, His horrible TT today had nothing to do with racing clean or not (again look at Vuelta 2012, Giro 2011) His old domestics Remember the Vuelta, Navarro and Paulinho had better and equal time. Today was a sick/not normal day as EVERY YEAR he suffers from Allergies. I have been watching the tour since the early 80's and never seen anyone that can turn it around one day to the other , like Contador. Add to that that there is going to be 2 time trials at the tour and one of them in the mountains. Again, remember his time trial in the mountains in Vuelta 2012 and Giro 2011. Other than that, eveyone here seems to have an expert opinion, but a lot of it is biased , (you like or dislike a rider/team so you twist the reality to fit your perception) The reality is Froome is in great shape, he has not won a single 3 week stage race yet. Contador is in below par form, and he has 7 grand tour to him and only 30 old Let's see what happens in the next few days when the road goes uphill...That is Contador territory.
vrusimov More than 1 year ago
No matter what you say, you have to admit that Contador is only a whisper of his former self. I watched him at Tirreno-Adriatico get his doors blown off by Froome at the end of one of the climbing stages. He is not the same rider that went up Verbier and rode the ridiculous wheels of Rasmussen a few years earlier. Not the same and I think that I know why. As you say yourself, a rider at 30 is hardly finished, although many opine that Lemond was also done at 30 in 1991, which is ridiculous. If Bruyneel ever talks, we might know a little more about Mr. Contador.
tropicana More than 1 year ago
A lot speak too much on Alberto Contador, however the most talented rider in the peloton today. "Clenbuterol" in 2010 was a joke, but as it's only the ignorant who speak the most it becomes a general fact. Do not jump to hasty conclusions, look at Van den Broeck for example. When Contador crash repeatedly Porte in a few weeks it does not even linger to point... #truechamp