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Richie Porte from Australia is headed for big things after his performances in Europe this year and finished just out of the medals here in Geelong.
Tasmanian lands fourth place in tough time trial
Richie Porte (Australia) was pleased with his debut in the elite men’s time trial world championship race, despite narrowly missing out on the bronze medal with his fourth place finish. Porte was just seven seconds slower than German Tony Martin in the 45.8 kilometre race.
Martin and Porte staged a close battle for the final medal position after the German rider’s run was dealt a heavy blow with a flat tyre. Despite stopping for a less than efficient wheel change, Martin surged back towards the podium and narrowly took the place away from Porte on the finishing straight.
“It’s not nice to finish fourth, I’m a bit sick of finishing fourth, but it’s such a quality field that I’m honoured to be so close to a podium,” he said. “I’m happy with how it went."
Porte admitted he wasn’t aware how close the battle was at the time, as race radios were not used in this year’s event. “To be honest I didn’t have a clue as there was no race radio. It’s a good thing: it puts the human factor back in to cycling,” he said. “Maybe if I knew I could have dug a little deeper, but I gave it my all so I’m pretty happy.”
Martin struggled after the incident, noting that it upset his state of mind for the final lap. "It's always hard to continue after such a situation because you are focused on the race,” said Martin. “You want to give everything and then you have a puncture and you lose 10 to 20 seconds, and then you are out of your rhythm and it's hard to motivate and concentrate on the race again.
"It was hard for my head but at the end, yeah, I kept on fighting and now it's OK for me," he said.
Porte reflected on how far he’s come over the past 12 months. One year ago he was struggling to get a ride, but now he’s one of the hottest young riders on the market having worn the Giro d’Italia’s leader jersey and won a ProTour stage as a neo-professional.
“This time last year I was banging my head against a wall looking for a pro ride, and Bjarne Riis gave me that opportunity,” he said. “To be a first year pro and finish fourth in the world, it’s not such a bad thing really.
“It was incredible to have so many people out there shouting your name, then seeing your name written on the road – it’s an honour."