Guiding Star: Nicolas Portal

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Until his tragic death in March, Nicolas Portal was one of the youngest but most successful directeurs sportifs in cycling, leading Team Sky/Ineos to six Tour de France titles, through Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, and Egan Bernal. In 2016, after the third of Froome's titles, Procycling met the fastidious home-grown tactician to find out why he was so good at his job.

This article was published in Procycling magazine issue 221, 2016

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Sam started as a trainee reporter on daily newspapers in the UK before moving to South Africa where he contributed to national cycling magazine Ride for three years. After moving back to the UK he joined Procycling as a staff writer in November 2010.