Porte, an Australian at home in Nice

news10.03.2013Pre-race

Porte Richie © / A.S.O.

Richie Porte became the first Australian to win Paris-Nice when he sealed victory in the final time trial on Col d'Eze on Sunday. The 28-year-old Tasmanian clocked 19:16 to emulate his Team Sky leader Bradley Wiggins, who achieved the same double last year. It was an even more emotional day for Porte as he usually serves as a luxury domestique for his leaders but above all because it was earned on his training roads as he lives in Monaco.
At the top, the Montagne de Lure stage winner narrowly missed beating Wiggins's record for four seconds but crushed the rest of the field. Andrew Talansky (GRS) was second in the stage, 23 seconds adrift, and runner-up overall, 55 seconds behind, keeping a white jersey he promised to convert to a shinier colour next year. France's Jean-Christphe Peraud (ALM) completed the podium 1:21 off the pace.
The other honours in this edition went to Sylvain Chavanel, who topped a great week and a stage win with the green jersey while Johann Tschopp kept the best climber's polka-dot garment.

Reference times

Dutchman Rick Flens (BLA), the first man out, set a reference time of 22:35. But he was quickly toppled from top spot by France's Jeremy Roy (FDJ), the first rider under 21 minutes in 20:59. The Frenchman's mark was improved by Italy's Mattia Cattaneo (LAM) in 20:51. While Jerome Coppel (COF) avenged a disappointing Paris-Nice to date with a fine 20:33, former Giro winner Michele Scarponi (LAM) seized the lead on 20:19.

Quintana impresses
But the first rider under 20 minutes was Colombia's Nairo Quintana (MOV), who confirmed his climbing abilities at 29.2 kph. Former junior world champion Diego Ulissi (LAM) in 20:16 and Slovenia's Simon Spilak (KAT), 4th last year, in 20:11, were unable to improve the former Tour de l'Avenir winner's time. 

Even American Tejay Van Garderen (BMC), seen by many as the pre-race favorite, failed against the 20 minutes mark and Quintana's time was enough to earn him a podium placing.

Porte was the best man
When the top five riders in the GC started, the big battle did as well. Jean-Christophe Peraud (ALM) avenged a silly crash in the first turn by clocking what would be the 4th fastest time in 19:48, enough for him to feature on the podium of this edition. White jersey holder Andrew Talansky also impressed by bettering Quintan's times with every kilometer. But there was no denying Richie Porte a victory he amply deserved. The Australian led from the gun and crossed the line in19:16, only four seconds slower than Bradley Wiggins's record climb a year ago. Team Sky and Australia now have a new champion to celebrate.

The news in pictures

photo04/02/2014 

Porte Richie © / A.S.O.

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Jersey wearers after the stage 8

Classifications after the stage 8

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