Richie Porte Mature And Hungry After Successful Neo Pro Season

Saxo Bank | December 16, 2010

How was this year's teambuilding?

“It was good and very different from last year but I saw the purpose of the activities even though I went in to the clown activity with mixed feelings. Then, I turned and looked at Alberto (Contador) who won Tour de France three times and he was just as bad at the activities as I was which kind of equalized us. Surfing was great fun and the guys from Australia felt right at home on the board. It was great fun. Especially because when we're together on the road things tend to get a bit stressful and it was good sharing a laugh with all members of the team in a cool place in relaxing surroundings”.

What are your thoughts on Saxo Bank-SunGard 2011?

“From this camp, I really got the feeling that we are all friends in this team. Surely, a large group of cyclists left this year but all the new guys on the team will be integrated in no time. The team management has made a good job picking the right guys for this year's line-up. I talked to Alberto (Contador) while training and he is truly a great champion. He made sure to talk to everyone during the ride and he's really humble in his way of approaching you and so are Navarro, Noval and Hernandez. It's going to be a great year for us. It's a new generation eager to gain territory and it's exciting to be a part of it and I hope to be able to stay after the upcoming season as well”.

What are your goals for 2011?

“I have a fantastic race program for 2011. I'm looking forward to be doing Tirreno-Adriatico, maybe Tour de Suisse and Tour of Romandie. Tour of Romandie is naturally special for me as I won the race time trial this year. It was my first professional win and I think I'm going to take on the 2011-edition of the race in better shape. I'm ready and want to make the step to the next level.

What was greatest experience in 2010?

“It was wearing the pink jersey in Giro d'Italia. Obviously, leading one of the big tours is a huge thing and perhaps even more when you are a neo pro. I proudly wore it for three days and took the white jersey overall and the experience will stay in my mind for the years to come. I really wanted to win a race in my first year but to win a time trial like that was really cool. After crossing the finish line, I remember watching the rest of the race on television in the team bus with Bradley (McGee) sharing the greatest feeling as a pro cyclist”.

Are you a changed person after a successful first pro season?

“Certainly, I have been growing up a lot faster this year and the success has a way of getting to a person's head but I'm trying to keep my feet on the ground. This year has given me more confidence to believe that I can do well in stage races. Physically, it has changed me to perform a lot better in these races and with those things combined, I want to take advantage of my new abilities in 2011. I'm much hungrier than last year”.

Were there any disappointments in 2010?

“I came really close of taking a medal during the world cup time trial championships on home ground but when you're up against guys like Fabian (Cancellara) and Tony Martin who even punctured, the disappointment doesn't last very long. Realistically, there were no disappointments for me at all. I just hope that I can reach the podium next year as I have had a string of fourth places this year,” said Richie Porte who is now looking forward to spending time quality time friends and family in Tasmania.