Richie Porte put in a dominant time trial performance on stage 4 of the Critérium du Dauphiné, taking the win and beating the best including TT legend Tony Martin.
The 32yo Tasmanian set out on the 23.5km time trial looking to beat the best time of 28’19” set Martin of Team Katusha-Alpecin. With the last 10km of the course featuring an uphill section, Porte flew home to clock 28’07” on the line, 12 seconds ahead of Martin.
With 29 riders still to come home, Porte sat and waited to see if his time would hold up. As the yellow jersey leader Thomas De Gendt crossed the line, Porte’s victory was assured and his winning time bumped him up to second on the General Classification, 27 seconds behind De Gendt.
Porte Beats Tony Martin & Chris Froome
“I didn’t expect to beat guys like Tony Martin and Chris Froome with so much time,” an elated Porte said, as the magnitude of the win sank in.
“I didn’t expect to win this stage. I just felt really good. It’s nice to lay down a time trial like this finally. I really worked hard on my time trialling this year and it’s been a long time since I’ve done a good time trial like this. I’m really happy with where I’m at so far this season and the team has put a lot of faith in me. I’ve really found a happy place – it’s always nice to win a bike race.”
Porte said he’d love to win the 2017 Dauphine “but we’ll have to see what happens the next few days.”
“It’s not over yet, there are some hard stages to come so I’m just happy with how today went,” he said.
“Whatever happens, happens but I’m on a good path and I’m happy with where I’m at.”
Three Weeks ‘Til Tour de France
With just three weeks until the Tour de France, Porte said he was hoping for an end to bad luck and a good Tour.
“With the team we will have for the tour, and the support the team has given me, I’m really happy. We have seen in the past that if Chris Froome is good here, he is good at the Tour de France, so I just hope that’s the same for me.”
Not getting ahead of himself, Porte said there’ll be work to do on the weekend’s mountain stages.
“There are going to be some really hard stages. I’m happy with today but I’m looking forward to the weekend too,” he said.
“I’m quite confident in how I’m climbing at the moment. I think a time trial like that is probably a good test as to where your form is at.”
Stage 5 of the Criterium du Dauphine is one for the sprinters before Porte takes on General Classification contenders on the final three mountain stages.