Sydney, July 12, 2015 (AFP) – Australian star Richie Porte says he will
leave Team Sky at the end of the year to pursue his dreams of Grand Tour
Porte is in the final year of his contract with the British super team and
there has long been speculation the 30-year-old wanted out.
He confirmed his plans following the Tour de France’s 28 kilometre (17.3
miles) team time trial from Vannes to Plumelec at the weekend.
“It’s my last Tour de France with Team Sky, and I want to finish on a high
with my mate Chris Froome,” Porte told Australia’s SBS Television late Sunday
after the ninth stage, won by BMC.
“I think it’s the worst-kept secret in the world. I’ve got to take my own
opportunities,” he added.
After four years at Sky, Porte is one of the biggest names in this year’s
transfer market and has been linked to BMC.
Etixx-QuickStep have also reportedly shown interest and Orica-GreenEDGE are
on the lookout for a general classification rider.
Porte is in Sky’s team for the Tour de France but as a key domestique for
England’s Froome, who has tightened his grip on the yellow jersey heading into
the second week.
Porte acknowledged he would have much more opportunity to lead a Grand Tour
“I’ve won Paris-Nice and Catalunya this year, and had my big opportunity in
the Giro, which didn’t quite got to plan,” he said.
“But I’m ready, I’m in the prime of my career now the next few years, so I
need to go and lead a team.”
Porte played crucial roles when Bradley Wiggins won the 2012 Tour and
Froome took the title the following year.
Two months ago, Porte led Sky at the Giro d’Italia after starting the
season in outstanding form.
But after a strong start to the Italian classic, his race fell apart
following a controversial two-minute penalty for accepting a replacement wheel
from compatriot and Orica-GreenEDGE rider Simon Clarke.
Porte eventually abandoned the race because of injuries from a crash.
File Photo: Cor Vos