Aussie cyclist Richie Porte rides to big win in Paris-Nice

TASMANIAN Richie Porte emerged from the shadow of his famous Team Sky teammate Bradley Wiggins to become the first Aussie to win the Paris-Nice race on Monday.

A year ago, the 28-year-old Porte, a former triathlete, who only started cycling when he was 21 before joining the pro ranks in 2010, was a member of the Sky team that helped Wiggins win the event, as well as the Tour de Romandie, the Criterium du Dauphine and Tour de France.

In the absence of Wiggins on the start line this time around, Porte was named as team leader and he responded in style, winning the fifth stage to take the overall lead from American Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp).

Porte, who joined Team Sky from Saxo Bank last season, also won the final time trial, a 9.6km ride from Nice to the Col d'Eze, by 23 seconds over Talansky to seal overall victory by 55 seconds.

His overall time was just four seconds short of the course record, set by Wiggins last year.

Despite his stunning win, Porte ruled out any likelihood of becoming a main contender in this year's Tour de France.
 



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