Richie Porte doesn't expect Team Sky to need 'Plan B' at the Tour de France

Team Sky's Richie Porte insists Team Sky are 100 per cent behind Chris Froome at the Tour de France and they're not contemplating a contingency plan

Chris Froome and Richie Porte on stage eighteen of the 2013 Tour de France
(Image credit: Watson)

When Chris Froome crashed out of the 2014 Tour de France, Richie Porte was thrust into the limelight, but the Australian doesn't expect to see a repeat of that this year.

Froome called it a day on stage five last year and Porte started his leadership well, climbing up the rankings to second overall until illness set in on stage 13 and he slumped to 23rd by the time he reached Paris.

But the Tasmanian told the Sydney Morning Herald that he's solely focussed on being Froome's wingman at the Tour, not on the pressure that may fall on his shoulders if the leader drops out again.

"Of course, [last year's crash] is going to play on his mind a little bit," Porte said. "But all you can do is stay at the front of the race to minimise the risk of crashing.

"At the end of the day, that [crashing] can happen to anybody. That can happen to Vincenzo Nibali. It can happen to Alberto Contador or Nairo Quintana.

"Chris has the team around him, so he will have huge confidence. But the first nine days are probably as stressful as you are going to get ever for the start of the Tour.

"How we manage those first nine days [for Froome] … we have the key to do it with guys like [Ian] Stannard and [Luke] Rowe and Geraint Thomas there for those days."

Porte comes to the Tour having led Team Sky at the Giro d'Italia in May. Crashes and illegal wheel changes resulted in the Australian falling out of contention in the overall standings - eventually withdrawing on stage 16 to focus on his Tour preparations.

He enjoyed a prosperous start to the 2015 season, winning Paris-Nice, the Volta a Catalunya and the Giro del Trentino ahead of the Giro, with top-five overall finishes at the Tour Down Under and the Volta ao Algarve.

 Cycling Weekly's panel discuss the 2015 Tour de France contenders

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.