Australian an outside medal chance on home turf
Richie Porte says he'll use his climbing ability and stature in Thursday's time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Geelong as the Australian seeks to add further success to what has been an excellent year.
The 25 year-old from Tasmania was full of praise for Saxo Bank teammates Fabian Cancellara and Gustav-Erik Larsson, saying that the Swiss rider's power was phenomenal and would serve him well on the testing Geelong time trial course while the Swede's climbing ability and his status as an under-dog could help him cause a surprise.
As for his own chances, Porte explained that he's a different type of rider to his teammates but that won't necessarily hinder his potential as a medal contender in the 45.6km Elite men’s time trial on Thursday.
"I'm not a big, powerful time trialer; I'm a smaller guy, but I do have a good power output and being shorter means I'm quite aero," Porte told Cyclingnews, adding that guidance from team management has been useful at his first world championships in the senior ranks.
"I've looked at the climbs and I've spoken with Neil Stephens; he's been awesome for me. I'm just going to have to use those hills to my advantage,” he explained.
“If the weather stays crappy like this I won't mind. Most of the Europeans are a bit jetlagged and I think that's also going to be a pretty big factor in it."
The 2010 season has been an overwhelming success for Porte. After signing his first pro contract in late 2009 he wore the leader's pink jersey, won the best young rider jersey and finished seventh overall in the Giro d'Italia. His confirmed his pedigree for time trials by beating the likes of countryman and triple time trial world champion Michael Rogers, Denis Menchov, Larsson and Vladimir Karpets in the Tour de Romandie time trial.
He performed well at the Tour of Britain earlier this month but it was his 10th place finish in the Clasica San Sebastian that provided the highlight of the second half of his season and gave him a boost heading into the world titles on home turf.
"I didn't race that much the second half of the season. San Sebastian for me was probably the best race. I was involved heavily when Samuel Sanchez attacked, 'throwing punches' with some of the big guys; I was the only guy in there who didn't ride the Tour but it gave me a lot of confidence," said Porte.
Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for a full interview with Richie Porte in the coming days.