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Porte to lead Sky at 2014 Giro?

Richie Porte (Sky) extended his overnight 32-second lead over Andrew Talansky (Garmin Sharp) by 23 seconds to create history at Paris - Nice on Sunday, claiming his second stage win en route to being crowned 2013 champion at the prestigious French race.

Porte blitzed the final stage 9.6km up the Col d'Èze in a time of 19:16, just three seconds slower than that of teammate Bradley Wiggins when he won the event in 2012. For the 28-year-old, the first Australian to win Paris - Nice, it was also an opportunity to turn the tables on what had so far been bad experiences, told he was too heavy three years ago and then crashing during last year's race.

"I just never thought or believed that I could win Paris-Nice," Porte said following his win. "For me personally I've never had a nice experience at this race so it's a massive monkey off the back to come here and win it.

"I can't believe it. The first Aussie to win such a big race and it's just an honour to have my name up there with Bradley Wiggins, Tony Martin and all the big champions.

"I woke up this morning and I knew that I had good legs. After the armchair ride that I got from the team yesterday - as well as on stage five and for the entire week - I knew I'd be in good shape. The guys were just incredible this race."

Porte took the yellow jersey from Talansky on Stage five following his win on the La Montagne de Lure on Friday and never looked back.

Taking the lead for Sky at Paris - Nice was a rare opportunity for Porte, who will resume his role as a trusted domestique at the Critérium International later this month. While the event was not his first GC win since joining Sky - Porte won the Volta ao Algarve last year - he is hoping that his strong showing at Paris - Nice will lead to him being given the nod at next year's Giro d'Italia.

"I don't feel like I'm ready to lead at a Grand Tour yet," he admitted. "My goal is to go to the Tour and support Chris [Froome] and Brad [Wiggins]. Do that and maybe next year I could potentially lead Team Sky at the Giro.

"I'm still doing my apprenticeship and I'm still learning off Bradley and Chris. I don't expect to go to the Tour and ride for general classification. I'm in a good place at the moment and I don't want to change anything."


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