Another second-place overall and a Willunga stage win at the Tour Down Under would suggest that little has changed for Richie Porte in the last 12 months, but behind the scenes the Australian and his new Trek-Segafredo team have been finessing and fine-tuning his training and race schedule in a bid to maximise his output.
Perhaps the most significant change comes in the form of Porte’s coach. At BMC Racing Team, Porte was under the tutelage of David Bailey, but when he was released on the eve of the Tour de France last July, Porte was briefly looked after by Marco Pinotti.
With Bailey moving to Bahrain-Merida this season, Porte linked up with Trek-Segafredo’s in-house head of performance, Josu Larrazabal. According to Porte, the relationship has started well, with both men releasing that the formulae created over the last few years have reaped success.
If there are to be any changes in training they will be relatively minimal, with the most significant alteration coming in the form of less racing and more time at home this season.
“Josu said to me coming in that we don’t need to change much,” Porte told reporters at the conclusion of the Tour Down Under.
“I went back to Tasmania for some training and it’s nice having Will Clarke in the team and as a training partner. We’ve been low-key and under the radar but we’ve done some good training. It’s nice that the team have the faith in me so that I can go home and get in that good block. Dave Bailey was brilliant for me but I also had Tim Kerrison [at Team Sky] before. I’ve worked with some super good guys in Bradley McGee and Bobby Julich but Josu was good in that he said, ‘You know what you’re doing, let’s work around that’. It hasjust made things much easier.”
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