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“It’s weird for a cyclist to be leaving a team and not have a criticism. I don’t have a single bad thing to say about Team Sky - they have revolutionised the sport and they’re just going to keep doing that."

Photo: Sirotti




07.10.2015 @ 19:23 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Richie Porte has been a huge part of Team Sky’s recent success and had his best ever year in 2015, but the Australian will move on to BMC for 2015, where he will look to win more races. However, he says he will always look back fondly on his time at the British team.


“Sky is the most incredible experience you can have as a professional cyclist,” Porte told RoadCyclingUK, speaking at the Cycle Show.


“It’s weird for a cyclist to be leaving a team and not have a criticism. I don’t have a single bad thing to say about Team Sky – they have revolutionised the sport and they’re just going to keep doing that. A massive percentage of the peloton are now looking at what Team Sky do.”


Sky realized Porte could do great things as a stage racer when he was seventh overall, spent time in the leaders jersey and eventually won the young riders jersey back in 2010 at the Giro, riding for Saxo Bank, now Tinkoff-Saxo. He backed up this climbing result with top tens in 2010 and 2011 at the Worlds Time Trial before joining the team.


Porte has left the team with wins in two Paris-Nice GCs, the Volta a Catalunya, Giro del Trentino and back to back stage wins at home Down Under on Old Willunga Hill.


“It’s going to be a little bit sad to leave. I’ve met a lot of lifelong friends there and I’ve got a lot of respect for the team. It’s been an incredible four years.”


Porte returned to the Giro in 2015 hoping to win the race and was in a good position to do so, until he was docked time for receiving a wheel from another rider not in Sky, and then crashes began to hamper him. He says that is a big regret, one of his only ones, from his Sky time.


“There’s always going to be that sense of ‘if only’. I won a lot of races going into it. I was in the form of my life and in great shape and then a lot of things happened that were out of my control,” he said.


“Getting a front puncture into a roundabout, you’re not going to have team-mates around you all the time – people criticised the team for that, but at the end of the day it all happened so quickly. That was our big goal, so obviously that’s a bit of a sore spot.”


Porte says that after all he has achieved, he doesn’t want to constantly be referred to as a domestique, but rather as a leader who can work in the service of other riders if required.


“I’ve spent a lot of time riding for other people,” he explained. “For me, it’s a little galling to still be called a domestique because I’ve still won races.”


“But now, I’m not going to leave a setup like Sky for just any team. BMC, I think, are a fantastic team with a great sponsor. In the Tour, and other races, the guys we have a lot of trouble at times are the BMC guys and that’s only because they’re doing such a fantastic job for their team leader.”




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