With most races taking part in the middle of the night, it can't be easy being an Australian cycling fan, but that hasn't stopped one Aussie farmer becoming such a big fan of Richie Porte that he decided to create a maze in the BMC Racing rider's honour.
Rowan Clark is the owner of Rupertswood Farm near Hagley in Porte's home state of Tasmania said that he had been planning the maze for a number of years.
"‘I have been thinking of a Richie Maze for some years now," Clark said. "We are huge fans and love watching him race, particularly in July when the Tour de France is on."
"Richie is a great role model…always presents himself with spirit, courage and dignity…even under enormous amounts of pressure. Plus Richie seems like just a really nice guy."
The maze has been designed by a maze design business called Mazescape, which is based in Weston-super-Mare, and is intended to show Porte leading the peloton up the Alps in the Tour de France.
The design apparently took Clark eight hours to mow into his crop, and suitably also includes a bike track for people to ride around the outside of the maze. There is also the choice of a "mini maze" around Porte's front wheel, or the main maze through the rest of the design.
The maze also pleased Porte himself, with the rider saying that he was impressed by the "incredible detail" as he gave the Tasmanian farm a nice bit of publicity by sharing details of the maze on Facebook.
The maze will open to the public on February 24, while Porte will start his season at the Volta ao Algarve, which starts on February 14, as he begins his preparation for the Tour de France in July.
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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
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