Richie Porte States Missing Giro Was My Choice

tdf_stage8_2013_porte

LIEGE, Belgium, April 24, 2014 (AFP) – Australian Richie Porte has revealed
that it was his decision rather than Team Sky’s to take him off their Giro
d’Italia team in May.

Sky announced their nine-man Giro team on Thursday, with Briton Peter
Kennaugh, Dario Cataldo of Italy and Belarussian Kanstantin Siutsou leading
the British team, who will be aiming for stage wins rather than overall GC
success.

Earlier in the season, Porte had been slated to lead Sky for the first time
at a Grand Tour in Italy but a bout of gastroenteritis, which saw him abandon
from both the Tirreno-Adriatico and Tour of Catalunya, meant he had to pull
out of the Italian extravaganza.

Instead he will again be title-holder Chris Froome’s main lieutenant at
July’s Tour de France.

“I want to talk a bit about the Giro and what happened,” Porte wrote in his
blog on cyclingnews.com.

“Look, first off it was a really tough call but at the end of the day, I
decided that I just couldn’t go there and race. It was my decision, not the
team’s and they’ve been really supportive and didn’t put any pressure on me
whatsoever.

“I would have loved to have raced the Giro but at Tirreno I went from being
up there on one mountain stage, and in quite good condition, to being knelt
over a toilet in my time trial position due to gastroenteritis.

“I thought that I was okay for Catalunya but I just had nothing in the tank
and when you know, you just know.”

Porte has just spent two weeks training on the Mount Tiede volcano in
Tenerife with Froome.

He says he’s riding himself into form and even admitted there was a slight
temptation to go for the Giro, before deciding he doesn’t have enough time to
reach peak condition for a three-week race.

Instead he is looking forward to tackling Sunday’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege
race before going on to the Tour of Romandie next week.

“In the last few days, of course I’ve thought about changing track and
going to the Giro,” added the 29-year-old Tasmanian.

“You’re out training, you’re feeling good and you can’t help but think to
yourself ‘yeah I can still do this’ but a month without racing just means it’s
not realistic.

“A month without racing feels like an eternity and no matter how much work
you do at altitude, it’s still not the same.

“The reality is that you can’t lose three weeks of training so close to a
grand tour.

“Now I’ll go to the Tour, where we’ll have a stronger team and a clear set
of aims. We have the defending champion, and the best rider in the peloton in
Froomie and I’m looking forward to racing alongside him.

“So it’s Liege next and then Romandie. I did Romandie last year and my form
at that time was on a bit of a downward spiral but I’m coming into that race
quite fresh.”

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