Richie Porte at the 2016 Tour Down Under

Nationality: Australian
Date of birth: January 30, 1985
Height: 172cm
Weight: 63kg
Team: BMC Racing
Twitter: @richie_porte

Porte began racing in 2006 after quitting triathlon and quickly progressed as one of the professional peloton’s most gifted riders. A ninth place finish in the 2008 Tour Down Under signalled his emergence in the sport, and preceded a move to Australian team Praties.

Porte’s sudden rise up the general classifications and against the clock earned him his first professional contract with Team Saxo-Bank for the 2010 and 2011 season. Porte quickly made an impression, winning the Tour de Romandie TT.

The 2010 Giro d’Italia was Porte’s first experience at a Grand Tour, taking the race lead for three successive stages from stage eleven. Porte’s eventual seventh place on the GC won him the young rider’s classification.

2011 did not replicate the GC heights of the previous year, instead his season’s highs confined to races against the clock. Selected once more for the Giro, Porte disappointed with an 81st placed finish overall. Porte made his Tour de France debut in 2011 and came fifth in the Tour’s only TT.

Team Sky signed Porte for 2012 and his results improved, winning the Volta ao Algarve courtesy of a victory on stage three and third place in the final day’s TT.

At the Tour de Romandie he placed fourth overall in support of Bradley Wiggins. As a domestique to Wiggins in his successful quest to win the 2012 Tour, Porte was widely praised for his efforts.

In the spring of 2013, Porte won Paris-Nice – his biggest victory to date. At the ensuing Criterium International, Porte won the TT and came second on the race’s third and final day in Corscia to earn a Team Sky one-two behind Froome.

At the Tour, Porte worked tirelessly to help Froome claim overall honours, Froome repeatedly pointing to Porte’s efforts in leading him up the mountains as key to his victory.

Illness took its toll on Porte’s performance in 2014. When Porte took over Sky team leadership at the Tour de France after Froome crashed out, he failed to replicate his performance from the previous year. In stark contrast, Porte started 2015 strongly, winning key stages of the Tour Down Under and Volta ao Algarve before two stage wins and the overall in Paris-Nice.

But 2015 quickly turned sour for the Australian, who abandoned the Giro d’Italia after losing more than 27 minutes on stage 15. Porte had crashed and finished 2:08 back on stage 13 and lost more than four minutes in the stage 14 time trial, having already been penalised by two minutes for an illegal wheel change on stage 10, when countryman Simon Clarke offered Porte his wheel after a puncture.

Porte’s loss was Froome’s gain, though, and the Tasmanian was back to his best as a super domestique in the Tour de France, marshalling Froome’s second maillot jaune, finishing second to his team leader on the summit finish at La-Pierre-Saint-Martin on stage 10 as Froome opened up what would prove to be an unassailable lead thanks to the work of Porte.

But, despite (or perhaps because of) being part of a Tour de France-winning team for the third time in four years, the Tasmanian was keen to get his own chance as team leader and left Team Sky for BMC Racing in August. Porte got off the mark for his new team quickly, soloing to victory on the queen stage of the Tour Down Under in January to lay an down early marker for the rest of the season. With initial excitement at how BMC was set up at the Tour in 2016, with Tejay van Garderen also looking for GC opportunities, it became apparent it couldn’t work as Porte took over sole leadership halfway through the race. Finishing fifth overall, the Australian had worked hard to get back into the race’s contention after some poor luck saw he mechanical early on, dropping down the leaderboard.

However, the 2017 Tour de France will see BMC give Porte the leadership from the start and after a thrilling Critérium du Dauphiné, which saw him lose the overall on the last day but 10 bonus seconds to Jakob Fuglsang. Porte will be going into the race in the best condition of his life.

>>> Richie Porte results and rider profile

Major results: 2016 Tour Down Under | 2015 Volta a Catalunya | 2015 Paris-Nice | 2013 Paris Nice