Richie Porte (BMC) spoke about what's in store for the rest of the 2018 season, after crashing out his major objective, the Tour de France, with a broken collarbone on Stage 9.
Cycling Central

7 Aug 2018 - 10:04 AM 

Porte has been recovering in Monaco since crashing out of the Tour de France on July 15, convalescing with his wife and young son as he looks ahead to the next big objectives for the rest of the season.

Up first on Porte's calendar will be the Vuelta a Espana, with the Spanish grand tour often regarded as the back-up plan for riders that haven't spent too much energy at the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia.

"I'll find out where I'm at during the Vuelta like a lot of guys," said Porte, speaking in a conference call with journalists. "The Vuelta is not the race to ride unless you're 100 per cent motivated. It's hard. I last rode the Vuelta in 2012 and I got an absolute kicking,"

"It's like that last chance saloon; there are guys looking for contracts, guys who are absolutely flying. People said it's the most relaxed of the Grand Tours, with an organised gruppetto. But I was out the back at 14km into a stage and there was no organized gruppetto.

"I don't know where my form will be but that's a nice goal to go to the Vuelta and try to see how it goes."

The other event on the horizon for Porte is the world championships in Innsbruck, Austria. The road race course looks set to suit pure climbers, with the 23.9 km circuit for the race featuring a 7.9 km climb at a average of 5.7 per cent, with pinches of 10 per cent.

"The biggest goal is worlds now," said Porte. "A couple of days after the crash, it was nice to get a message from Brad McGee, the Aussie national team selector. He put that thought in my head and that motivated me to get my act together to get back before the season is out."

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It's a regular occurrence to see riders with ambitions for the world championships hone their form at the Vuelta a Espana, but this year's edition looks set to be even more of a preview for who will pull on the rainbow jersey in October. The steep hills of the Vuelta will be ample preparation for the climbing in Austria.

The time trial course is also one that the Tasmanian will like, with a decent mountain, the Gnadenwald - 4.9 kilometres at 7.1 per cent - in the back half of the 54.2 km course.

"I think there are 10 days between the Vuelta and the time trial," said Porte, "so hopefully that's enough time to get some recovery and check out the courses."

"The time trial is something like 52km, that's a long one. But I'll have a go at it. I think the road race course is good for me, it's not one you often see one so tough like that."

Porte revealed that he is enjoying being back on the bike after his forced sidelining, training well in the lead-up to what shape as important races for the Australian star. 

"It's nice to get those endorphins," said Porte. "That's why we ride the bike, for that feeling. It's been nice to roll along in the summer and enjoy my training roads for what they are. You appreciate them more when been stuck inside for two weeks."

SBS will be broadcasting every stage of La Vuelta LIVE, with streaming on the Cycling Central website. Times and channel TBA.