Riche Porte (Team Sky) has decided to call a premature end to his tumultuous 2014 season. Porte had been named on the Australian team’s long-list for the World Championships at the end of the month. However, after a year or illness problems, the Australian has told national selector Bradley McGee that he won’t be able to ride in Ponferrada. He is also ruled out of the team time trial next Sunday.
"For me it's the end of the year now, and hopefully I can have a better season next year,” Porte told Australian broadcaster SBS. "I haven't had the best of health this year. I've been in Manchester the last week speaking with the doctors and we've found that during the Tour I had a mild case of pneumonia.”
The decision to end his season comes after failing to finish his first two races since the Tour de France, where he fell ill during the second week. After a great start to the year with podiums at the Australian national championships and the Tour Down Under, Porte’s season took a sharp downturn that saw him abandon more races than he has completed. In total, the team Sky rider has failed to finish six of the 11 races he entered.
Ahead of the season, Porte had been destined to lead Sky at the Giro d’Italia but the illness problems meant that his form wasn’t at the level he needed and he was pulled from the team. Since March, where he left Tirreno Adriatico with a fever ahead of stage 5, Porte has only finished two races – the Criterium du Dauphiné and the Tour de France.
"I'm not going to beat myself up too much, I had a year like this three seasons ago, and I've had some good ones since,” said Porte. "You have to have a bad year every now and then, just to put it all in perspective, but to be honest I'm pretty happy to draw a line through the year and move on."