Australian star sends out strong message with superb stage victory
Richie Porte set down a marker ahead of the Tour de France by comfortably beating arch-rival Chris Froome in the Criterium du Duaphine individual time trial.
Porte won stage four with a time of 28 minutes and seven seconds for the 23.5km route from La Tour-du-Pin to Bourgion-Jalieu. And that was 37 seconds than Team Sky star Froome, who seemed well below his very best as he came home in eighth place on the day.
“Lovely day out on my TT bike today,” Porte said afterwards. “I’ve spent many hours suffering on it, so to take the win feels great!
“I’ve really worked hard on my time trialling this year,” the Tasmanian added.
Porte has now jumped from 30th to second in the general classification in the Dauphine, just 27 seconds behind Thomas De Gendt, with Froome a further 37 seconds back in sixth.
Froome remains favourite with just a few weeks to go before the start of the Tour de France, but admits this latest time trial result is giving him some cause for concern.
“Richie did an incredible job and Valverde and Contador also did very impressive time trials,” he said. “I knew the level was going to be high coming here and I think this time trial just proves it.
“I’ve still got three weeks now after the Dauphine in terms of time trial work and it’s obviously something that I’m going to have to do a bit more work on. I’ve done everything right up until now and I’ll just keep going up until the Tour.”