After spectacularly flying over a barrier during Tuesday’s prologue at the Tour de Romandie Australia’s Richie Porte admitted to being a little shaken up. Just three days later, faced with a 23.4 kilometre individual time trial in Moudon, Porte put the nerves behind him to claim his maiden ProTour stage win.
The victory comes just under a year after Porte won the Baby Giro’s individual effort, however this time the Tasmanian was faced with a much stiffer list of opponents. The victory over riders like former world champion Michael Rogers (HTC-Columbia) and all-rounders like Alejandro Valverde and Denis Menchov came thanks to Porte’s work with Saxo Bank’s Brad McGee and Bobby Julich.
“It’s exciting and a big confidence booster, especially a time trial,” Porte told Cyclingnews. “There is nowhere to hide in a time trial.
“I knew that I had the form. Training has been going well and I have been working with Brad McGee and Bobby Julich, who are two of the best time trial riders of their generation,” he added. “Then to crash in the prologue shook me up a bit but today I just went out there and hurt myself...it was worth it though.”
While delighted to lay down a quicker time than multiple world champion Rogers, Porte was quick to share his success with his compatriot. Rogers claimed Romandie’s general classification lead with his ride to fourth place, 29 seconds behind the 25-year-old Porte.
“It’s nice to win any race but then you look at the result sheet and it even sweeter to see some of those names behind you,” he said. “Also with Mick Rogers taking the overall it was a great day for us Aussies.”
Despite his Swiss success Porte isn’t making any bold predictions ahead of his Grand Tour debut at the Giro d’Italia, starting next weekend. While the idea of backing up his Baby Giro win with a victory in the elite Giro appealed to Porte when suggested, he’s keeping his feet firmly grounded.
“I guess it gives me a bit of confidence, still though I will have to take it day by day,” he added. “It is a big confidence booster. It’s just nice to be able to repay the faith which Bjarne Riis showed in me when I signed with Saxo Bank.”
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