Porte Dominates Paracombe Summit to Take Ochre Jersey18. January 2017, Paracombe (AUS) — Road Team
Richie Porte has claimed the win on stage 2 of the Santos Tour Down Under with a brilliant solo attack at the base of the Paracombe climb.
Porte crossed the line 16 seconds in front of Gorka Izagirre (Movistar Team) and Esteban Chaves (ORICA-Scott) to claim the leader’s ochre jersey with a 20 second advantage ahead of the final four stages.
Porte’s victory is his fourth stage win at the Santos Tour Down Under and the first time he has worn the ochre jersey.
The 148.5km stage started with five laps of a circuit around Stirling where Jasha Sutterlin (Movistar Team) launched a solo attack after the first lap and gained a five-minute advantage.
The peloton picked up the pace after exiting the circuit and caught Sutterlin in the final 40km, making way for the battle for position on the approach to the Paracombe climb.
Porte’s BMC Racing Team teammates brought him to the front and as the peloton reached the base of the climb, Porte put the hammer down and made a solo move.
As he reached the halfway point of the climb, Porte had stretched out his advantage and upon crossing the line had a comfortable lead over his General Classification rivals.
The Winner’s Interview with Richie Porte
Richie, you’ve taken your first win for 2017. How does it feel?
“The BMC Racing Team boys were just incredible this morning. They really looked after me the whole day and it’s nice to win on Paracombe. It’s good to get a win already this season and now we’ll try and defend this jersey.”
Talk us through the lead up to the final climb.
“We started with the five laps around Stirling. We didn’t really race it that hard which is a bit of a shame but at the end of the day I think I have a good gap on the General Classification. I know it’s not over with a few quite hard stages remaining. The team are fantastic and strong so I’m quite confident.”
How confident were you on that climb?
“I know I’ve got good climbing legs and I didn’t really want to wait around so to be able to ride away like that gives me good confidence. I knew I had to back myself and I knew I had the form to do it. But to take the time I did, it’s a good position to be in. I might have to sacrifice the Willunga stage on Saturday to defend my lead if I still have the jersey. There’s some stressful days coming up so we won’t be counting our chickens until they hatch. We’ll take it as it comes.”
How does this win compare to others in your career?
“It’s incredible to wear the ochre jersey at the biggest race in Australia. I’d love to win it. I enjoyed today and the work that the BMC Racing Team guys did for me today was just absolutely incredible. I did a lot of training in the off season for this climb. I made a mess of it two years ago so to come back and make amends like this is just a dream.”
Fabio Baldato, Sports Director:
“It was a perfect day. It wasn’t an easy day though and the approach of the climb was really hard, especially to keep Richie in front. It was a big fight like in a sprint to do this. Our plan was to have the guys keep Richie in front and then Richie didn’t wait too long and he went immediately on the climb, which is what he wanted to do.”
“We are confident. Richie has showed his strength on the climbs. But we can’t relax, we need to stay focused and race well like today. The team is strong, motivated and we need to keep going like this until Sunday.”
Santos Tour Down Under
Stage 2 Stirling > Paracombe (148.5km)
Top 3: 1. Richie Porte, 2. Gorka Izagirre (Movistar Team), 3. Esteban Chaves (ORICA-Scott)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 1. Richie Porte, 4. Rohan Dennis, 58. Damiano Caruso
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