• Richie Porte (R) and Romain Bardet (L) of AG2R in action during the 6th and final stage of the Tour of Oman (AAP)Source: AAP
Richie Porte has admitted he nursed a niggling injury through the Tour of Oman that the Australian gladly finished on Sunday.
Sophie Smith

Cycling Central
22 Feb 2016 - 7:19 AM  UPDATED 22 Feb 2016 - 7:52 AM

Porte has a documented history with piriformis syndrome and actively managed it during the tour he entered on the back of a training block in Tasmania that was also affected.

The 31-year-old has suffered from the neuromuscular condition, apparently common to cyclists, for about a year and was treated for it at the end of 2015 first by Sky and then new team BMC medical staff.

Nibali wins Oman overall as Kristoff claims the finale
Alexander Kristoff signed off from the Tour of Oman on Sunday with a comfortable victory at the end of the sixth and final stage of the race that Vincenzo Nibali won.

“I came in a bit injured to be honest,” Porte said before the start of the sixth and final stage of the race Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) won overall.

The syndrome can cause leg pain and numbness that stems from the gluteus when the piriformis muscle there spasms and irritates the sciatic nerve.

“I was with Will Clarke on a Thursday ride back in Tassie and had a cramp. I almost had to be pushed home by him it was that bad,” Porte recalled.

“It feels much better now I’ve been doing work on it every day and it’s kind of exciting that maybe I can ride pain free.

“I have to keep on it with the stretching and regular gym. When I go back to Tassie, I’m always good at riding my bike and going for a swim but I’m not so good at keeping the gym and stretching up. But now I can see the benefits of stretching.”

Porte is not overly perturbed by the condition ahead Paris-Nice, which is his first major objective of the season. He is due to arrive at his Europe base, Monaco, this week and train in the lead-up to the event he may face former Sky teammate Chris Froome in a title bout for the first time following years of service to the two-time Tour de France champion.

Porte tested his legs on the queen stage to Green Mountain in Oman but otherwise rode conservatively with latter battles in mind.

“Going into Paris-Nice this year I know I’m not in the condition I was of last year but when you come to a race like this you’re being out-climbed by classics specialists,” he said.

“For me, it’s an important thing that three years ago when I first won Paris-Nice I had the same thing (here).

(Taylor) Phinney pipped me on the line on the top of Green Mountain, so I’m not too stressed with where my condition is.

“I get to go home to Monaco and train properly now for two weeks and try and get accustomed to the winter conditions as well.”