Australia’s Richie Porte is hoping a string of solid results in Italy over recent months will lead to him turning professional in 2010. Porte claimed his biggest win to date at last week’s Girobio - Giro Ciclistico d'Italia, where he out-paced the world’s top Under 27 riders to win the stage five time trial.
“I'm hoping my strong results of late will help me to move up into the professional ranks, to get good results makes the sacrifice of living so far from home worthwhile,” Porte told Cyclingnews. “I went into the Giro wanting to win a stage, but to be honest I didn't think I could match U23 World Champion Adriano Malori on such a flat course. To beat a guy with his credentials makes it even better.”
Porte’s Babygiro success, which included two other top five stage finishes, follows a number of successes since leaving his Tasmanian home for Italy in February. Porte claimed a stage win and held the overall lead at Giro del Friuli, finished second at Trofeo Matteoti and third at Coppa della Pace.
“My next major goal is Giro valle Cuneesi in August where I will target classification,” he said. “There is still plenty of racing before I return home in October, so I hope to build on my results I have gained so far this season.”
Porte was delighted Bedogni/Grassi/Natalini/Gr.Praga sport director Andrea Tafi was following in the team car during his Giro victory. Tafi has provided the 24-year-old with vital support throughout his stint in Italy.
“He is a guy who has so much belief in me and having him there really helped me dig a little deeper,” said Porte.