Team Sky is delighted to announce Richie Porte as the latest signing for the 2012 season.
The 26-year-old Australian is one of cycling’s brightest talents and has enjoyed a meteoric rise since taking up the sport competitively in 2006. After learning the ropes with the Praties and Monsummanese Grassi Mapei teams, Porte was signed by Saxo Bank in 2010.
His maiden victory came just a few months into the 2010 season on the time trial stage at the Tour de Romandie, and Porte then rose to worldwide prominence with an incredible debut ride at the Giro d’Italia. Not only did he hold the race leader’s Maglia Rosa between stages 11-13, Porte also secured seventh place overall and won the young rider’s classification by a seven-minute margin.
With the arrival of Alberto Contador at Saxo Bank-Sungard in 2011, Porte assumed the role of loyal domestique and was handpicked to support the Spaniard at this year’s Giro and Tour de France.
Elsewhere, the Tasmanian continued to take his chances wherever he could and earned himself podium positions on time trials at Paris-Nice, Castilla y Leon and the Tour de Romandie before claiming a hard-fought victory against the clock at the Tour of Denmark.
Richie Porte said:
“I'm really happy to have signed for Team Sky and cannot wait to see what next season will bring. Ever since the launch of the team I've been really impressed with the way they go about their business and it'll be nice to be able to experience that first-hand now. For riders like myself who are always looking to develop and improve, I don't think there's a better place to be - the coaching set up is absolutely top-notch and the way they look after their riders is also second to none.”
“I had two great years at Saxo Bank-Sungard, and will be forever grateful to them for giving me my chance in the professional ranks, but am looking forward to opening this next chapter of my career now and hopefully taking things to another level.”
“I'll be targeting the week-long stage races initially, although it would be nice in the future to lead the team in a Grand Tour. My time trialling is another area I want to focus on, and having guys in the team like Bradley Wiggins and Michael Rogers will help me no end and I'll be looking to learn as much as I can from them.”
Dave Brailsford, Team Sky Principal, said:
“In Richie Porte, Team Sky have acquired one of the world’s most gifted riders and we are thrilled to have him on the team. The progress he has made during the last four years has been outstanding and he will undoubtedly strengthen our squad for 2012 and beyond.”
“Richie is a rider that has everything - not only is he right up there with the best time triallers in the world, he can also climb and is not afraid to suffer when he is told to work for someone else either. Now is his time to shine - whether that’s in a Grand Tour or on a stage race like Paris-Nice, we’ll have to see, but it’s a long season and he’ll get plenty of opportunities.”
“I’m sure he’s going to be very happy with this team and we’re confident he will have a long and successful career with us.”