The Tour de France and Ineos Grenadiers remembered Nicolas Portal before the start of stage 9 in Pau, with his wife and children attending the unveiling of the latest totem in the outdoor Tour de France museum and then standing with the Ineos riders on the start line of the stage.
The yellow totem recalled Egan Bernal’s victory in 2019, with a photo of Portal amongst the images selected to remember the race.
Portal passed away in early March at just 40 due to a heart attack after suffering with a cardiac arrhythmia during his career. He was a professional rider for a decade, competing for Caisse d'Epargne, AG2R and Sky, later becoming a directeur sportif for Team Sky in 2011.
He was part of Team Sky during Bradley Wiggins’ 2012 Tour de France win and then helped direct the team during the victories of Chris Froome (2013 and 2015-2017), Geraint Thomas (2018), and after the team changed names to Team Ineos when Egan Bernal won last year.
“He was with me through the hard times, picking me up any time I doubted myself, and right by my side encouraging me to every success. He has left a truly phenomenal legacy,” Chris Froome said at the time of Portal’s death.
Before the stage the Ineos Grenadiers team posted a moving video on social media to remember Portal, who hailed from Auch in southwest France. Many of the team’s riders reposted the video, with their own personal moment of remembrance.
The riders then line-up at the front of the peloton before the start, with portal’s widow Magalie, their children Lenny and Aïnoa and Ineos Grenadiers team manager Dave Brailsford.
Today at the Tour we start in Pau, Nico’s home for many years.This is how we will always remember him ❤️ pic.twitter.com/aiHFAEustGSeptember 6, 2020
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