Tour de France

Porte spurred on by Froome

2014-07-15 13:47
Richie Porte (Getty Images)

Besanon - Australian Richie Porte said Tuesday he has team-mate Chris Froome's support in his quest to win the Tour de France.

Reigning champion Froome crashed out of the race last Wednesday with a broken hand and wrist but before heading home to Monaco, the Kenyan-born Brit told Porte he believes he can win.

"Chris is a guy I train with every day, I don't look at him as a Tour winner, he's a mate," said Porte on the first Tour rest day.

"The last thing he said is 'you can have these guys, believe that'. He also told the other guys in the team: 'get around Richie'.

"You appreciate that, Chris has more belief in me than I do have myself. Even before the crash he was saying that to me, he was like 'mate you've got to go for the podium, we can take them on and be both on the podium'.

"That was also his goal for the race, to have me on the podium with him."

With 10 stages done, Porte sits second in the overall standings, 2:23 behind leader Vincenzo Nibali after a couple of strong finishes on climbs.

But he still has a lot to learn and Froome has been coaching him from afar.

"I got a message from him yesterday, which is nice obviously. He just said more about the tactics of guys sitting on me," added the 29-year-old Tasmanian.

"It's nice to have the support from guys like him. Obviously I'll talk to him in the next week or so.

"Now's my opportunity to show next year I can be not just supporting him but another card to play."

Porte also revealed that he had been trying too hard and Sky team manager Dave Brailsford had to tell him to relax.

Porte had a poor start to the season and then suffered from illness which forced him out of March's Tirreno-Adriatico race and subsequently the Giro d'Italia in May, where he was going to be the Sky team leader.

But he has arrived at the Tour in top form, and the Australian says Brailsford helped him do that.

"If I think back to (the Tour) Down Under and the first race I did here (in Europe) Ruta del Sol and also in Terreno, I was where I needed to be.

"I got sick and then sick again on top of that, and I had a few issues with my bike.

"But it was one of the training camps where Dave took me to one side and said 'stop banging your head against a brick wall', which is what I was trying to do, to go from seven out of ten to a ten out of ten.

"Dave said to me, 'just relax, we're behind you, we support you, we know you've got the talent so let's just relax and get into it'.

"Then since that I've been more professional than ever, I've been doing my core every morning and watching my diet."

Another thing Porte's been doing well is fighting for his place, according to teammate Geraint Thomas.

"The first five days he was waiting to do his job in the mountains for Froomey but then as soon as Froomey was out, it's like Richie you're the man, he's stepped up and got even more aggressive, if that's possible for him," said the Welshman.

"He gets up a few riders, lets them know he's there. That's what you want, that aggression, that he gives everything and when you're working for someone that's all you can ask for."

Read more on:    tdf  |  richie porte  |  chris froome  |  cycling

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