First stage race for Sky's Australian
Richie Porte (Team Sky) wrapped up the overall at the Volta ao Algarve in Portugal, then quickly highlighted his team’s efforts in helping him secure his first GC win Europe, telling Cyclingnews that his teammates' sweat had "made him look good".
The Australian signed for Sky at the end of 2011 after serving two years with Bjarne Riis at Saxo Bank and has quickly formed a strong relationship with his new teammates. The transition has been made easier by Bobby Julich. The American worked at Saxo Bank during Porte’s first season with Danish team in 2010 and has made an instant impact on Porte’s progress.
“This win feels great,” Porte told Cyclingnews.
“I’m in a new team and to come here and win your first race, it doesn’t get much better than that. I have to give full credit to the guys here out on the road. I was just putting the icing on the cake and they made me look good to be honest.”
“I knew my form was good. I’d been training, but hats off to Bobby Julich, who I worked with at Saxo Bank. I was reunited with him and he’s been incredible and looked after me. He’s changed my training around a little bit and it’s nice to come out have this result.”
Porte’s final year with Saxo Bank saw the Australian devoted to Alberto Contador’s services in both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France. It left him with few options to race for himself.
“Sky has shown a lot of faith in me. I had a good 2010 but last year wasn’t as good so full credit to the team,” he told Cyclingnews.
“There’s no hard feelings [with Saxo Bank]. We had the best rider in the world on our team and that’s what you do, you support him. It would have been nice to have gone to some smaller races and tried the GC but I’ve come here this year and even though there’s a star line-up, some of them sacrificed their own chances. Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins were supporting me and that’s how this team operates.”
Porte and the majority of Sky’s Algarve squad will head to France in the coming weeks for Paris-Nice, a key event in their programme and for team leader Bradley Wiggins.
“It won’t be too much of a different team to this one, and we’ll go there with Bradley and it would be great to repay him for all the help he’s given me at this race. We’ll see what happens at the race but common sense is that I’ll support him. He’s one of the best stage racers out there.”