Tasmanian Richie Porte rode the time trial of his life to become only the second Australian ever to finish on the podium* of the Tour de France.
On Saturday night Australian time, Porte rode the 36.2km individual time trial — stage 20 of the 21-stage Tour — in a time of 57min, 16.88sec to finish third on the mountaintop stage, putting him into third position overall.
Slovenian Tadej Pogacar is the 2020 Tour winner and fellow Slovenian Primoz Roglic came second.
The final stage of the Tour into Paris, France Sunday night Australian time is, by tradition, a ceremonial stage. The 122km stage 21 does include a sprint around the Champs Elysees, but unless there is a disaster, the podium positions from stage 20 are what the cyclists finish with.
Speaking to SBS, Porte said he was delighted with a podium finish in Paris after the 3484km, three-week race.
“It’s been many years of disappointment, crashes and whatever, dramas,” he said.
“This is my dream to be on the podium.
“I’m just over the moon it feels like a victory to me to be third.
“Now I can retire happy, this means everything to me.”
The only other Australian to finish on the podium since our first rider contested* the event in 1914 is Cadel Evans, who won it in 2011 and finished second on two other occasions.
After stage 20 Porte posted on his Instagram account that it had been a tough stage.
“Today I suffered like a pig for 57 excruciating* minutes but the end result makes the sacrifices so worthwhile. What a day,” he wrote.
Fellow Australian Caleb Ewan, who was 128th on the time-trial stage 20, 9min and 44 seconds behind winner Pogacar, tweeted* his support for Porte.
Porte, who comes from Launceston and lives in Monaco, missed the birth of his second child, daughter Eloise, who arrived on September 5, so he could race in what could be his final Tour de France.
At the time, Porte said: “Hurts more than words can express to miss the birth of your child, but thank you to my team Trek-Segafredo for being so supportive. Will be a long and tough race mentally now but the biggest gift awaits after Paris.”
- This is Richie Porte’s 10th Tour. He has competed every year from 2011 onwards.
- He placed 5th overall in 2015.
- This year, fellow Australian Caleb Ewan won Stage 3.
- Australian Cadel Evans won the 2011 Tour de France.
- Australian cyclists have competed since 1914.
- The modern Tour de France is in 21 stages over 23 days, covering about 3500km.
- podium: the raised platform that first, second and third place winners stand on after a competition
- contested: competed for
- excruciating: very, very painful
- tweeted: posted on Twitter
- In one sentence, what is this story about?
- Which country is Richie Port from?
- How long does the Tour de France go for? How many kilometres?
- Which Australian won in 2011?
- What colour jersey does the winner wear?
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