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Porte’s ultimate sacrifice for historic TdF bid

Team Trek rider Australia's Richie Porte crosses the finish line atop the Loze pass (Col de la Loze) at the end of the 17th stage of the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, 170 km between Grenoble and Meribel, on September 16, 2020. (Photo by Stuart Franklin / POOL / AFP)

The Tasmanian was fourth overall going into Friday night’s sprinter-friendly stage ahead of the decisive individual time trial on Saturday and procession into Paris on Sunday.

Porte needs to make up 1min 39secs over 36.2km in Saturday’s time trial to catch third-placed Miguel Lopez and stand on the podium alongside Primoz Roglic who has all but secured his first yellow jersey.

The Trek-Segafredo leader survived a major scare on Thursday’s Stage 18 when he punctured with 30km to go and had to pace himself back to the peloton, bridging a 45 second gap on gravel roads to remain in the hunt.

“It wasn’t ideal and I was feeling really good on the (climb) which was a hard climb,” he said.

“It’s almost as if it would have been too easy to not have any drama. It was a good day to get done, and I think I already did my time trial it was so hard to come back.

“To survive that and maintain my GC… I’m happy to have come away with that one. Now we just have to get through tomorrow.”

Cadel Evans is the only Australian to finish on the podium at the Tour de France when he was runner-up in 2007 and 2008 before finally winning it at the age of 34 in 2011.

Porte’s best ever finish was fifth in 2016 when he was riding for Evans’ old team BMC.

Porte missed the birth of his second child, daughter Eloise, who arrived in the first week of the Tour and has FaceTimed back home twice a day since.

He went into this year’s race as joint leader of Trek-Segafredo with Bauke Mollema before Mollema abandoned after a crash on Stage 13, leaving him to take charge.

After years of misfortune including nasty crashes, untimely punctures and even running into the back of a motorbike on course, Porte has appeared to be riding with a weight off his shoulders this year.

He has confirmed this season will be his last with Trek-Segafredo and his last at targeting the Tour’s general classification before he finishes his season as a super-domestique and targeting week-long stage races.

The fan favourite has dominated on Old Willunga Hill in Adelaide the past seven years and is the Tour Down Under’s defending champion but is almost certain to miss January’s race after revealing he plans to stay in Europe this off-season.

Daniel Mill

Daniel is our resident geek with a Degree in Computer Science, he loves to write about the Entertainment. It’s always interesting to watch what he posts.He also writes for another website on the Internet. e-mail: danielmill@eaglesvine.com

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