• Australia's Richie Porte will wave goodbye to Sky as he hunts down a leader's spot (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Australia's Richie Porte has revealed he is riding his last Tour de France in the colours of Team Sky.
By
Cycling Central

13 Jul 2015 - 6:25 AM  UPDATED 13 Jul 2015 - 9:15 AM

“It’s my last Tour de France with Team Sky, and I want to finish on a high with my mate Chris Froome,” Porte told SBS after the Stage 9 team time trial at this year's race, which was won by BMC, the team he has been most closely linked with.

Stage 9 report
BMC wins team time trial as Froome keeps yellow
BMC beat Sky by one second to win the 28km team time trial ninth stage of the Tour de France, but Chris Froome kept the race leader's yellow jersey.

The 30-year-old Tasmanian is playing his usual role as support to yellow jersey contender and 2013 Tour champion Chris Froome, a role he has clearly had enough of.

Porte has been in good form this year, winning the Australian time trial championships in January before successes at Paris-Nice and the Volta a Catalunya.

He also won the Grio del Trentino leading into the year’s first grand tour, the Giro d’Italia, where he was given the opportunity to lead Sky in Froome's absence. But things went horribly for the Australian there and he eventually abandoned the race five stages from the finish with a leg injury after a catalogue of other disasters has befallen him during the race.

But with all that behind him, Porte now clearly has the confidence to step out of the shadows and shape his own destiny at the head of a new outfit.

“I’ve got to take my own opportunities,” he said. “I’ve won Paris-Nice and Catalunya this year. I had my big opportunity at the Giro (d’Italia) which didn’t quite go to plan, but I’m ready.

“I’m in the prime of my career now, these next few years, and I need to go and lead a team.”

BMC has been mooted as the favourite to secure Porte’s signature next season, but current leader, American Tejay Van Garderen, is proving at this Tour that he might have the leader's spot he took from the retiring Cadel Evans secured for the foreseeable future.

He was pulled one second closer to Froome in the general classification as a result of his team’s stage win, and led the Briton until the death of the Criterium du Dauphine, before Froome blitzed him on the last climb to overcome an 18-second disadvantage and claim overall honours.

“At the (Criterium du) Dauphine, Tejay was right up there giving Chris a hard time,” Porte said. “In the mountains (at the Tour de France), we’ll see how it goes. We’ve got a stronger team than what (Van Garderen) does and the plan is to make it hard for him.”

If Porte was to become the American’s team-mate, it would certainly add strength to BMC, but the Australian might prefer a team that has a more obvious opening for him as leader.

Australian outfit Orica-GreenEDGE could be a consideration, although Porte might feel its existing line-up is not strong enough to assist him on his quest for a grand tour victory.

Porte opened up about the fact he was looking for a new team earlier this year, but it is only now he has confirmed he will be leaving Sky, where he has been settled since 2012.

Rumours start
Porte may leave Sky in bid for team leadership
Australian Richie Porte is one of the biggest names in this year's transfer market and he has confirmed a likely move from Sky.

He revealed only weeks ago that he’d had “a few really good offers in great teams”, and it now appears he has accepted one of those.

"You don't take it lightly, leaving a team like Sky. In a lot of ways, it's the best team for grand tour racing, but I need to think about my future,” Porte said ahead of the Tour de France.

"In any other team, bar three or four, I would actually be the Tour leader. But that's certainly something I'm really looking at now."

The SBS ŠKODA Tour Tracker is the ultimate TDF app experience
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