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Aussie Richie Porte claims historic third in Tour de France

James Bresnehan, September 20, 2020 6:00PM Mercury

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Primoz Roglic of Slovenia in second place (left), winner Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia (centre) and Richie Porte of Australia (right) in third place on the podium after the 107th Tour de France 2020, Stage 21 from Mantes-La-Jolie to Paris Champs Elysees on September 20, 2020 in Paris, France. Picture: Getty Images media_cameraPrimoz Roglic of Slovenia in second place (left), winner Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia (centre) and Richie Porte of Australia (right) in third place on the podium after the 107th Tour de France 2020, Stage 21 from Mantes-La-Jolie to Paris Champs Elysees on September 20, 2020 in Paris, France. Picture: Getty Images

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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.

media_cameraTeam Trek rider Australia’s Richie Porte rides during the 20th stage of the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, a time trial of 36 km between Lure and La Planche des Belles Filles, on September 19, 2020. Picture: AFP

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.”

media_cameraAustralia’s Richie Porte competes during the 20th stage of the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race on September 19, 2020. Picture: AFP

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.”

media_cameraTeam UAE Emirates rider Slovenia’s Tadej Pogacar wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey (left) celebrates on the podium next to Team Trek rider Australia’s Richie Porte (right, 3rd placed) after winning the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race on September 20, 2020. Picture: AFP

FAST FACTS

  • 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.

GLOSSARY

  • 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

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Cycling around the world in 79 days

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  3. How long does the Tour de France go for? How many kilometres?
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