[close]

Porte wins Criterium stage, eyes Le Tour

Richie Porte won stage four of the Criterium du Dauphine and moved to second overall.

Porte wins Criterium stage, eyes Le Tour

Richie Porte won stage four of the Criterium du Dauphine and moved to second overall.

Australian Richie Porte's confidence of performing strongly at next month's Tour de France continues to grow after his stage win at the Criterium du Dauphine.

Porte won the 23.5 kilometre fourth-stage individual time trial from La Tour-du-Pin to Bourgoin-Jallieu in south-east France by 12 seconds from German rider Tony Martin.


The victory on a tight and technical course moved Porte up to second overall in the race standings.

He is 27 seconds behind Belgian Thomas de Gendt, who has led the Criterium since taking out the opening stage.

"I didn't expect to win today and certainly not by this much onto the other (Criterium du Dauphine) contenders," Porte said.

"I really worked hard on my time trial this year.

"I hadn't ridden any time trial for a long time, so I'm really happy with what I did today.

"Of course it's always nice to win races. Winning a time trial probably gives even more confidence."

Evidence Porte was hitting peak form ahead of the Tour's start on July 1 was present with his win at last month's Tour de Romandie.

The 32-year-old Tasmanian also won the Tour Down Under in January.

"I'm happy with where I am at so close to the Tour de France," he said.

"With a bit of luck, it can be a good Tour de France for me this year.

"The team has put a lot of faith in me. I'll be the sole leader and I have a great team behind me.

"Whatever happens, I'll go to the Tour with a fantastic form and a great team to support me."

Porte beat a host of top contenders to claim the time-trial victory with Spaniard Alejandro Valverde third, Alberto Contador seventh and Britain's Chris Froome eighth.

Valverde sits in third overall, 51 seconds behind De Gendt and 24 seconds behind Porte.

The next stage of the race takes place on Thursday between La-Tour-de-Salvagnay and Macon over 175.5 kilometres and contains one category 2 climb.

AAP


AAP




Latest Stories