Cycling news - Richie Porte believes he has a chance at Tokyo road race, confirms 2021 was last Tour de France
Team INEOS' Australian rider Richie Porte is now 36, and confirmed that his involvement in the Tour de France is over after the 2021 event was brought to a close. The veteran explained that he believes that for the Tokyo Games he will be in with a chance of medal success with the course well suited to his skills.
Richie Porte believes that the Tokyo Games road race course suits his talents, and he has confirmed that he has now run his last Tour de France.
Porte has been with the Team Ineos side for 2021 after moving on from Trek-Segafredo, with the 36-year-old Australian one of the riders to suffer from the early heavy crashes in the campaign, which wiped out any chances he had.
He is looking to bounce back in Toyko with a race that takes in the slopes of Mount Fuji with the hopes of an Olympic medal. He also carries with him the memories of a disappointing 2016 effort in Rio, where he crashed out of the road race with around a tenth of the race remaining, while in with a shout of a podium finish.
“It does feel like a lifetime ago,” Porte said, rerported the Herald Sun.
“It wasn’t the nicest Olympic experience obviously ending up in a hospital in Rio, so it would be nice to go to these Games, albeit a strange Games for everybody, and have a bit better Olympic experience.
“It’s always nice to represent the country and something I get excited for, it’s a big motivation for sure.”
“Definitely it’s the last one I’ll do,” he explained of his Tour de France involvement this season.
I think I ticked the box last year with a podium finish, I’m not getting any younger and the race is only getting more and more crazy, so I feel like it’s time to pull the pin on my Tour career. It’s been a nice run, but it’s time.
Looking towards the Olympic course, he thinks that the style of the race suits him well enough to be in with a shot at a medal despite strong competition.
“I’d say compared to last year when I rode for the general classification at the Tour (de France) for myself, it’s a much different scenario,” Porte said.
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“Without all that stress and pressure every day, it’s been almost nice if you’re not needed. You can get out of the chaos of the bunch sprints and do a job on a climb earlier and then not have to contest the final.
“So mentally, yes, it’s been a bit of a blessing in disguise, but the racing has still been hard so the form should be there.
“It’s quite a lot of climbing there (in Tokyo), unprecedented really for an Olympic road race but it’s a course that suits my characteristics.
“It’s been a funny (lead-in) with all the crashes and injuries and guys having to take themselves out of selection, but finally with Lucas Hamilton and Luke Durbridge coming in, we’re going to have a pretty good team there.”
“The time trials at the Tour are not like the one in Tokyo, there is 800m of elevation gain in Tokyo, but it’s always nice to get on the TT bike and have a good hit-out.”