NOTES FROM A BIG COUNTRY
Portal is a fastidious note-taker, writing down information about poor road surfaces, general wind direction and tricky corners as well as thoughts that could feed into rider selection.
“I’m constantly writing things down: potential race scenarios, which riders will work on this terrain – everything. When Sean Yates was the lead DS he used the big Michelin maps that are used a lot by hikers and mountain bikers. They are packed with details. He showed me how to use them. They are really good actually. They have all the contours, the size of the roads, zones where the roads are busy or whether they’re under tree cover. Now there are not too many sports directors who use this kind of detailed map because they don’t know how to read them; they are too complicated. But when you have learned to absorb the information
Portal shows the team ‘Charlie bit my finger’ on Youtube one more time