Porte delivers first WorldTour podium place for BMC Racing Team24. January 2016, Adelaide (AUS) — Road Team
Richie Porte has finished second at the 2016 Santos Tour Down Under, delivering the first podium place for BMC Racing Team at a UCI WorldTour event for the season.
Porte finished nine seconds behind race winner Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE), which marks his second consecutive year on the podium.
“I didn’t really expect to be second, that’s the honest truth. I lost eight seconds in a bit of a silly move on the stage into Victor Harbor but it didn’t really matter in the end. I don’t think Simon was beatable, he was incredible here. To come here and be second, and second in the time trial at nationals, I can say that it’s been quite a good summer.”
For Porte, taking his third straight win on Willunga Hill yesterday was the highlight of the week’s racing.
“I actually felt better up there this year than I did in past years. I was really happy with how I went. Sergio (Henao) is a fantastic climber and I think Team Sky brought him here to win the race. So to ride him off my wheel like that is a great sign.
“The real racing starts in March with Paris-Nice and Volta Ciclista a Catalunya for me so it’s nice to not have done that much training and still come away with a really good result.”
A strong start for BMC Racing Team
BMC Racing Team Sports Director Allan Peiper said the team has started the season well.
“I think we can be very, very pleased with the race. We threw everything at Orica-GreenEDGE and to have Richie finish second at nine seconds is nothing to be ashamed of and I think it’s a great result for the whole team.
Defending champion Rohan Dennis took home the Tanya Denver award for the best-placed South Australian rider. Dennis said the whole team was brilliant this week.
“We’ve got a great team here. Floris Gerts was a big stand out being in his first WorldTour race. He read the race well, he knew where to be, he knew what he had to do. So that’s great to have someone at such a young age and so inexperienced to be able to read the race and not have to be directed.
“It didn’t end the way I wanted it to. Obviously I planned to try and win this race again, going back to back, but having Richie come out and win in Willunga yesterday was a great result for the team.”
It was not just the first Santos Tour Down Under for Gerts, but also for Alessandro De Marchi.
“It was a good week. I think we did almost everything that we planned and the team has done a good job to have walked away with Richie’s win on Willunga Hill. Yesterday’s win on Willunga was fantastic not only for the team, but also for me. I helped Richie and Rohan a lot on the climb and I think it is a good example of what we can do this season,” De Marchi said.
BMC Racing Team will next line up at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on January 31.
Santos Tour Down Under
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