Porte 'explodes' in Criterium du Dauphine prologue time trial

Australian finishes second behind Contador

Richie Porte (BMC Racing) returned to racing with second place in the prologue at the Criterium du Dauphine on Sunday but stressed that the race will not be decided until the final weekend.

The Australian all-rounder last raced at the Tour of Romandie in April but was forced to pull out through illness. On Sunday he returned to competition with second place behind stage winner Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) over the 3.9- kilometre individual time trial course at Les Gets. The Spaniard won by six seconds with Porte’s ex-teammate Chris Froome (Team Sky) in third.

"I know that I lost it in the final 500 meters. I just exploded but overall this is a good sign after having not raced for the better part of a month and a half," Porte told Cyclingnews as he warmed down on the rollers at the top of the climb.

"At the end of it I couldn’t even stand up but it’s a nice way to start a race and the signs are good. Everyone that’s up there has shown that they are in good form and ready to fight for this race.

"I didn’t really take much notice of the times. Froome was around seven seconds behind me but I don’t think that this was his bread and butter. It was one more for the punchier climbers."

The next few stages at the race are far from predicable with race organisers ASO providing aggressive and punchy stage profiles. For Porte, who has never had a chance to lead a squad at the Dauphine, the overall winner will have to remain fresh and ready ahead of the mountain stages.

"Now I just need to stay out of trouble. We’ve a really strong team here and it’s the weekend stages where the race will really be won. That’s the plan now. I’ll try and be there for next Saturday." 

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