Australia’s Richie Porte (Saxo Bank) said he was pleased with his ride at Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian, after initiating an attack early on the Jaizkibel. While Porte was unable to keep Luis León Sánchez (Caisse d'Epargne), Alexander Vinokourov (Astana) and Carlos Sastre (Cervelo Test Team) at bay, the Tasmanian stayed with the second group to finish the one-day race in 10th.
“For me San Sebastian gives me a lot of confidence. To have the legs to attack on the Jaizkibel is reassuring that my training is going in the right direction,” he told Cyclingnews. “I have only had five days racing since the Giro but with my first Grand Tour in the legs I do feel like a stronger rider.”
While only a neo-professional Porte has spent plenty of time rubbing shoulders with the world’s top riders this season. He claimed victory in the Tour de Romandie’s time trial before riding his way into the Giro d’Italia’s maglia rosa, before finishing seventh overall in the Italian race’s white jersey of best young rider.
Porte admitted that there were lessons to take away from his efforts at San Sebastian. “Ultimately attacking so early took its toll but I can take confidence that I got over such a hard climb with some of the stronger guys from the Tour de France,” he said. “I tried to bridge back to the front guys who ultimately fought for the victory but I didn't have the legs, but for my first attempt at San Sebastian I can't be disappointed.
“I go to the Tour of Denmark next which is important for our team,” he added.
Despite the success he’s enjoyed this season Porte indicated that he has not yet held discussions with Saxo Bank owner Bjarne Riis about his future with the squad. The squad will lose its headline general classification riders Frank and Andy Schleck at season’s end, which could see Porte take on a bigger role within the outfit following his success this season.
“I look forward to speaking to Bjarne Riis about my future with his team,” he said.