Faster than Lance: Richie Porte smashes Madone record again

Richie Porte reveals just how fast he can go up the infamous climb of the Col de la Madone

Richie Porte attacks to win stage five of the 2015 Tour Down Under
(Image credit: Watson)

Richie Porte has revealed that he smashed the record for the fastest time up the Col de la Madone near Monaco.

The Tasmanian on Team Sky confirmed that he clocked a 29-40 time up the famous col just before the 2014 Tour de France, knocking approximately 30 seconds off his teammate Chris Froome’s time of 30-09.

Froome recently admitted that his time had been beaten, but kept the identity of the new record holder a secret.

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“That would have been me,” Porte told Cycling Weekly after winning Paris-Nice for a second time last weekend. “I don’t think anyone is going to beat that.”

Froome and Porte, who both live in Monaco, threw the 13.6km Col de la Madone back under the spotlight ahead of the 2013 Tour.

The climb had been made famous - and later infamous - by Lance Armstrong, who would train on the climb when he lived in Nice.

His record up the climb was 30-47 ahead of the 1999 Tour, beating a previous benchmark by Tony Rominger of 31-30. Both were clients of Dr Michele Ferrari.

In his book ‘It’s Not About The Bike,’ Armstrong explains that his time up the Madone just before the Tour de France could tell him whether or not he would win the race. His bike, the Trek Madone, was named after the climb.

Armstrong’s teammate on US Postal, Tom Danielson, later set a time of 30-24 (which can’t have made Lance happy) however both have since fallen a number of times to the Team Sky duo.

“I think the previous time I set was a 30-14, or 30-24, in 2013. Then Froomey got 30-09, and I did 29-40 last year,” added Porte. “That was just before the Tour, so I actually was in good form going into the Tour.”

Despite his evident pre-Tour form, Porte memorably suffered as Sky’s plan B at the 2014 race, losing considerable time on his key GC rivals and overall winner Vincenzo Nibali on stage 13 which finished on the summit of Chamrousse.

He went on to finish 23rd overall after illness and fatigue got the better of him. However this season he claims he has put his health troubles behind him thanks to swimming sessions in Tasmania over the winter.

And, after an impressive showing in Paris-Nice where he won the stage four summit finish and the final stage time trial on the Col d’Eze, he believes he is ready for a tilt at the Giro d’Italia.

In particular he is eyeing up the 60km time trial on stage 14 and will recce the route of the stage this week. He’ll then race at the Tour of Catalunya and the Giro del Trentino before lining up in San Lorenzo Al Mare on May 9.

“In November last year I was back in Tassie, swimming, and thinking about the Giro the whole time,” he added. “I’m as motivated as I’ve ever been and I can’t wait to get there, and hopefully be top form and fight for a podium.”

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Richard Abraham is an award-winning writer, based in New Zealand. He has reported from major sporting events including the Tour de France and Olympic Games, and is also a part-time travel guide who has delivered luxury cycle tours and events across Europe. In 2019 he was awarded Writer of the Year at the PPA Awards.