Procycling - - Debrief -

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

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