It's been six months since Richie Porte announced that would be leaving Team Sky and joining BMC Racing, and just over four months since he last raced his bike. A silver medal ride in his Australian national time trial defence was therefore a result the 30-year-old can be content in the larger picture of his 2016 season with as teammate Rohan Dennis claimed his first elite title.
"It's more than what I expected to be honest," said Porte of his result which was two seconds slower than his 2015 winning time. "A bit more of a relaxed start to the year. I am happy to be on the podium to be honest, I am not surprise to see that Rohan's taken this win. He deserves it, he's hungry and I know how much he's wanted that national jersey."
12-months ago Porte was looking to hit peak form in May for the Giro d'Italia which featured a 59.4km time trial. Fast forward to 2016 and the circumstances are almost completely different with a new time trial bike, gusty winds over rainy weather and the fact that Porte will co-lead the BMC team in July at the Tour de France alongside Tejay van Garderen.
Porte explained that he sees the two time trials of the Tour de France as vital to the aspirations of the GC contenders and his second place on a new bike reaffirms he is heading in the right direction with months ahead to build the required form and condition.
"[team Performance Manager] Allan Peiper said that if I won today he would throttle me so to be one month of training into a new season and finish second to a class time trialler like Rohan is a great way to start," he said. "This year, Tejay and myself, our big goal is in July. I am happy to go back to Tasmania and do some good training and start the season fit and healthy.
"Back in 2010 I was fourth at Worlds so I can time trial when I have to. Definitely this year with the time trials at the Tour de France they will be crucial to a good GC so I think we are really working on it. BMC is a great time trial team so with the work we've done, I am really happy."
There was no disappointment in Porte's post-race interview comments as he seemed somewhat content to know that he is headed in the right direction following BMC's off-season team camp and working on his time trial position has paid off. Perhaps it was that he avoided a potential throttling from Peiper .
"I think I turned up to training camp one month ago one of the heaviest guys there so I have really put my head down and got back into fitness," said Porte was married in the offseason. "I think it's totally different conditions to what it was last year but I am happy on the BMC bike this year.
"We've done a lot of work in the wind tunnel and the track to get my position to where it is. With the Tour how it is this year, it's really important to be good in the time trial and I think today I am right around the mark where I need to be."
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