Event News: Richie Porte Leads Sky Down Under


Aussie cycling hero Richie Porte has his sights set on the Ochre Jersey when he headlines the Sky Pro Cycling team at the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under.

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Porte recorded an excellent season in 2013 including his first overall victory at a UCI WorldTour event when he claimed the Yellow Jersey at the Paris-Nice stage race.

Sky Pro Cycling is bringing an experienced team to support Porte including British cycling sensation Geraint Thomas who finished third at the 2013 Santos Tour Down Under.


Santos Tour Down Under Race Director Mike Turtur said cycling fans would delight in Porte’s return to the race.

“Richie Porte showed what a phenomenal cyclist he is when he claimed victory at Paris-Nice, capitalising on two stage wins including the final individual time trial from Nice to Col d’Eze in the south of France,” Mr Turtur said.

“With Porte being named in Team Sky Pro Cycling’s roster a showdown between Porte and Cadel Evans is inevitable with both cyclists announcing their intention to target victory at the Giro D’Italia in 2014.

“Cycling fans will be in for a treat with two of the best cyclists in the world set to battle it out for the Ochre Jersey and I imagine we will see some of the best climbing in the history of the Santos Tour Down Under.”

Austrian cyclist and Santos Tour Down Under veteran Bernhard Eisel will make his seventh appearance alongside former British Road Race Champion Ian Stannard.

Team Sky Race Coach Kurt-Asle Arvesen said, “We have a really strong team heading to the Tour Down Under. Both Geraint and Richie have a good chance of being up there.

“It’s a nice course and it looks like there will be two key stages again like last year for the GC. We need to be on our toes. We learned our lessons last year that we need to get out there well before the race. That’s what we’re going to do this year. It’s always a great way to start the season and we’ll be more than ready for the race.

“Everyone is motivated: the Classics guys, Philip Deignan in his first race and also Richie. It’s been a few years since he’s done the race. He’s been out there in Adelaide and he knows the key stages. It’s a strong group.”

Team Sky’s Richie Porte said, “I want to go to Tour Down Under and perform. As an Aussie it’s the race to win.

“It used to be a sprinter’s race but now there are some good climbs in there like Corkscrew and Willunga. I’ve spent a bit of time in Adelaide so I know the climbs pretty well. I think if I’m in good form and we have a strong team there – if not me then through Geraint Thomas we also have a really good chance. He was brilliant there last season so it should be an interesting race.

“It’s great that there’s interest from an Australian perspective with Cadel [Evans] starting his season there – myself, Simon Gerrans and guys like that. I’ve been in Australia for the last month and you can see how big cycling is getting. People are really taking an interest.”

“Given his fantastic climbing abilities Geraint Thomas will be an asset to Porte, particularly as they tackle the Škoda King of the Mountains at Corkscrew Road and Willunga Hill,” Mr Turtur said.

“Sky Pro Cycling is one of the best teams on the UCI World Tour circuit and we are thrilled to have them back for another year.”

The Sky Pro Cycling team competing at the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under will be led by manager Kurt Arvesen and includes riders:

Philip Deignan (Ireland)
Bernhard Eisel (Austria)
Luke Rowe (Great Britain)
Richie Porte (Australia)
Ian Stannard (Great Britain)
Christopher Sutton (Australia)
Geraint Thomas (Great Britain)
2014 Santos Tour Down Under

The Santos Tour Down Under is Australia’s premier international cycling race. It will be staged in and around Adelaide, South Australia from 19 to 26 January 2014. On Sunday 19 January the world’s cycling elite will contest an exciting 50km circuit race, the People’s Choice Classic, as the curtain raiser for the six-stage Santos Tour Down Under being raced over a total distance of 875km.

Sunday 19 January – People’s Choice Classic – Adelaide (50km)
Monday 20 January – Rest day
Tuesday 21 January – Stage 1 – Nuriootpa to Angaston (135km)
Wednesday 22 January – BikeExchange.com.au Stage 2 – Prospect to Stirling (150km)
Thursday 23 January – Stage 3 – Norwood to Campbelltown (145km)
Friday 24 January – Bupa Stage 4 – Unley to Victor Harbor (148.5km)
Saturday 25 January – Stage 5 – McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill (151.5km)
Sunday 26 January – Stage 6 – Adelaide (95km)

For more information visit www.tourdownunder.com.au



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