Richie Porte wins queen stage in Tour Down Under pubblicato il 23/01/2020
Richie Porte wins queen stage in Tour Down Under
If there was any hint of Richie Porte feeling the weight of home-country pressure, he certainly didn't show it as he flew up the steep climb to Paracombe to claim the win and the ochre leader's jersey in Stage 3 at the Santos Tour Down Under.
"Firstly, the team had a fantastic day. I have to take my cap off to those boys; they put all their faith in me today. They did a really good job of controlling," said Porte. "To take another victory on a stage like this is a great feeling."
The Trek-Segafredo team rode the front for a big part of the 131-kilometer stage and positioned Porte in the front into the right-hand turn of the finish climb.
"The strategy was to have as many guys up there into the bottom, and they did a super job," continued Porte. "Some of these younger guys are prepared to take much bigger risks than us older guys, it was a hectic run-in to the climb, but the guys put me in such a good position."
Trek-Segafredo neo-pro Juan Pedro López then upped the pace with Porte on his wheel. It was all the Tasmanian climber needed. When Porte accelerated, no one responded. He opened an immediate gap that he held to the finish.
"López did a fantastic job. I felt good at the bottom of the climb and got a bit of a gap there. It was a shame it was such a headwind in the finale as I think we could have done some real damage."
With a small six-second lead over the previous two year's overall winner Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott), Porte was quick to point out that the race is far from over.
"Daryl (Impey) is still the man to beat, I think. Historically this has been the queen stage, but two more stages before Willunga – the race is not over yet. There's time bonuses on the road as well, and I expect that Mitchelton will go for them. I am happy to get the win today for the team.
"I had to go when I went even with the headwind – there was nothing else you could do but get a decent gap. I would have liked to have taken a little more time on Daryl, but you have to take the victories when you can, and I will savor this one. 
"I think I lost a bit of time [when it flattened] in the last 300 meters. The thing is I felt good, and that bodes well for the next few days."
Photo credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images


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