Richie Porte and Vittoria: interviewing the Tour de Suisse champion
After his impressive results at the Tour de Suisse, Richie Porte – rider of BMC Racing Team – talked to the Vittoria staff about his forthcoming objectives and his feeling with Vittoria tires.
Hi Richie. First of all, a question about your adventure with BMC.
How was changing from Team Sky to BMC Racing Team? How did you adapt to the new team after so many years in Team Sky?
“I had four great years at Team Sky but I was looking for a new challenge so I jumped at the chance to join BMC Racing Team. Changing teams is exciting but of course every team is different so it always takes a few months to get settled in. Luckily for me I was going from one well organised team to another, so it was really easy to fit in with BMC Racing Team. The fact that I knew a lot of people there, especially a couple of the Australians like Allan Peiper and Rohan Dennis, helped as well.”
Similarly, how was changing from the previous tire supplier to Vittoria?
“Changing equipment sponsors can be challenging because as a rider the one thing you want is consistency so when you get used to certain components, you want to stay with them. However, the transition to Vittoria was a really positive experience. We were able to ride with Vittoria tires at our December camp at the end of 2016 before starting the 2017 season and straight away you could feel the benefits, especially the good grip. Since then, I have been happy riding Vittoria tires and have noticed the very few punctures we have during races.”
Which Vittoria tire models do you use with BMC Racing Team? And in what circumstances do you use them?
“We use the Vittoria Corsa 25mm tubulars for most races. They are good in all weather and race conditions so they have become the team’s tire of choice. Of course, we are going to be riding on the cobbles in the Tour de France this year so we will use the Vittoria Corsa Control tires. I was able to test these when I did a recon of the stage back in April and I was really impressed. I know all of the Classics riders were really happy with the Corsa Control during the Classics so we are fortunate to have a good option for stage 9 on the cobbles.”
After your remarkable results at Tour de Suisse, do you feel ready for the Tour de France?
“Winning Tour de Suisse was definitely a confidence boost. It’s one of the biggest wins of my career and it was really a team effort, which also gives me a lot of confidence ahead of the Tour de France. We have two weeks now to fine tune everything before we arrive and I will be spending some time at altitude on a team camp. The crucial thing about the Tour de France, or any three-week race, is to not peak too early. With my trainer David Bailey, we have tailored my training so that I am still building up now. I wasn’t at my top shape at the Tour de Suisse so this is also a positive sign for July.”
Who is going to be your number one competitor at the Tour de France?
“I think it has to be Chris Froome. There is a reason he has won four editions of the Tour de France. But, the lineup this year is strong and I don’t think you can rule out anyone. As controlled as the Tour de France is sometimes, it’s a bike race which means anything can happen. The first nine days will be crucial for the General Classification and I think with stages like the cobbles stage on stage 9 can really shake things up. I’m confident in my form and the team and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the race.”
Richie Porte - BMC Racing Team
Photos credits: Chris Auld Photography