Relieved Richie Porte secures overall victory in Tour Down Under
Jan 22 2017 06:34 pm CET

Relieved Richie Porte secures overall victory in Tour Down Under

Australian Richie Porte of BMC Racing Team has won the 2017 Tour Down Under. The leader successfully defended his Ochre jersey in the sixth and final stage.

Porte had already come close to the overall victory a few times but thanks to his two stage wins in the most vital stages to the general classification, he finally secured the right to step onto the highest spot of the podium.

"It's an incredible relief," he exclaimed after securing the overall victory. "I think back to nine years ago when this race really kicked off my career. This is where I came a wild card. Then two years later I was in the WorldTour. So to win it is a massive relief. I've been close two times before so it just feels fantastic.

"Cycling is kicking massive goals in Australia with the crowds you're seeing on the road. I must say I'm so happy with my team too. They rode incredibly today and the whole week so it's just an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction to win this."

"It's not over until you ride over the line. I felt good and the team put me in a great position all day and kept me out of trouble. So it was probably the most uneventful final criterium that I've done on this circuit, so that's thanks to the team."

Porte, who will be a major card for BMC to play in 2017, believes that this victory will give him added confidence to face the rest of the season.

"Quite a few of the guys here will do a program in the lead up to the Tour de France with me. That's exciting that I've got a team built around me for the first time ever. I've often been the plan B but BMC Racing Team has put a lot of faith in me this year. I think today I've shown that I can repay that faith they've put in me."

In the final standings, Porte has a comfortable 48-second lead over Colombian Esteban Chaves of Orica-Scott. Jay McCarthy (Bora-hansgrohe) and Nathan Haas (Dimension Data) follow at another three seconds.

Photo of Richie Porte by Mary Cárdenas /



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