RICHIE PORTE BMC RACING TEAM
There was the the Tour Down Under peloton, generally fit and sharp and then there was Richie Porte who was in another league. The Tasmanian finished the race’s two summit finishes at Paracombe and Willunga Hill as the only man in the picture. The final margin was 48 seconds between Porte and second-placed finisher Esteban Chaves, with Jay McCarthy coming in a further three seconds later. Even with the time bonuses stripped out, it was a most comfortable win since the race was rejigged to produce an orthodox GC winner, not a sprinter.
While Porte was super – he’s never looked leaner or meaner this early in the season – his principal rivals weren’t fully fit yet, and the parcours didn’t really offer much to work with anyway. It added a fringe of flattery to the result. Some may question whether Porte, who’s since turned 32, may have set his stall out too early. No TDU podium finisher has gone on to top three at the Tour, after all. But Porte could make it. After all, he’s proven he can be good in January, great in the spring and good at the Tour, too. Will he be great in all three this year? BMC will know that it will only get harder from here, but as statements go, Porte’s was loud and clear.
Even with time bonuses stripped out, it was a most comfortable win