'It’s not something that you forget in a hurry': Richie Porte still aggrieved by Froome Dauphiné tactics

The Australian says he's all in again for the Tour de France in 2018

Richie Porte at the 2017 Critérium du Dauphiné (ASO/A.Broadway)
(Image credit: ASO/A.Broadway)

Richie Porte (BMC) says he's still "going to return that favour” to Chris Froome over the Sky man's aggressive tactics at this year's Critérium du Dauphiné final stage, which cost Porte the title.

The Tasmanian held over a minute in the lead going into the final stage of the week-long stage race in June, but quickly found himself without team-mates on the mountainous 115km route from Albertville to Plateau de Solaison.

Froome, in second before the final stage, refused to help Porte close down attacks and sat on while encouraging Porte's rivals to attack before launching a move himself on the penultimate climb of the day.

While Porte was able to reel his former team-mate back in, he was unable to stop Astana's Jakob Fuglsang from riding away and claiming the overall title by 10 seconds.

Close friends while they were both at Team Sky, Porte said "Froome obviously didn’t want to see me win the race" in the immediate aftermath of the stage, and he still questions why the four-time Tour de France winner went out of his way to stop him winning the race.

Richie Porte and Chris Froome at the 2017 Critérium du Dauphiné (ASO)
(Image credit: ASO/A. Broadway)

“If he was going to win arguably the biggest week-long stage race, I wouldn’t go out of my way to work him over," Porte told the Herald Sun.

"Obviously my team should have been better that day, but when he (Froome) is going around asking all the other GC guys to attack, that’s personal and it’s not something that you forget in a hurry.”

“You bury it a bit, but I’m not going to lie, even though we had a good chat about it, if I can return that favour I’m going to return that favour.”

“Chris is one of the hardest men you could meet on a bike and he’s got that killer streak in him, I suppose. That’s why he’s won four Tours,” Porte added.

Porte missed the remaining major races of the 2017 season after crashing out of the Tour on stage nine on the descent of the Mont du Chat.

Having recovered from his injuries and back in full-time training, the 32-year-old will likely begin his third season with BMC Racing at the Tour Down Under where he'll attempt to defend his title.

However his main goal will remain the Tour de France, where he hopes to add that elusive podium spot to his palmarès.

“I’ve won most of the week-long stage races or done well in them, but it’s still the one thing that if I’m swimming it’s always in the back of my mind — that I’m training for July and the Tour de France,” Porte said.

“I want to retire and be able to say ‘I hit the podium in the Tour’.

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Richard Windsor

Follow on Twitter: @richwindy

Richard is digital editor of Cycling Weekly. Joining the team in 2013, Richard became editor of the website in 2014 and coordinates site content and strategy, leading the news team in coverage of the world's biggest races and working with the tech editor to deliver comprehensive buying guides, reviews, and the latest product news.

An occasional racer, Richard spends most of his time preparing for long-distance touring rides these days, or getting out to the Surrey Hills on the weekend on his Specialized Tarmac SL6 (with an obligatory pub stop of course).