Richie Porte got his and Team Sky’s season off to a flying start with victory in the Australian time trial championships.
The Tasmanian laid down an impressive benchmark in difficult conditions across the 40.9-kilometre course in Buninyong to pull on the famous green and gold jersey. A time of 51 minutes and 50 seconds was enough for victory, with Porte beating Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) by 7.1 seconds, while Jack Bobridge (Budget Forklifts) rounded out the podium 26.8 seconds back. “I didn’t expect to win like that,” a happy Porte told TeamSky.com after picking up the team’s first national title on Australian soil. “I’ve had a good day. After last season I went to Tassie in November and I’ve just been training full gas.
“We spoke with [Head of Athlete Performance] Tim Kerrison last night and worked out a plan. It was about not taking risks. We knew that it wasn’t going to be won and lost in the descents. With it being wet there were going to be risks but I always felt under control. I think I was a fair way down at the turn around but I knew that it would be better for me coming back. I had my old team director behind me in the car too which was nice as he gave me my first leg up in the sport.”
After a difficult 2014 and a hard off-season of training, victory against a stacked field bodes well for Porte, who also points to the strides made in his TT position. “It’s been a long time since I’ve done a good time trial,” he explained. “We did a lot of work on my position at the end of last season. We’ve changed it a lot. I’ve been competitive in time trials before but the last few years haven’t been so good. So it’s nice to lay one down against a top notch field. I couldn’t be happier – I just got engaged the other day so it’s a great way to start the year. “It’s awesome to have an Aussie jersey in a British team, but there’s not much time to celebrate now. I’ll have a nice dinner tonight and then it’s full focus on Sunday and Tour Down Under.” Porte will be back in action on Sunday in the national road race alongside Team Sky team-mate Nathan Earle.