• Richie Porte at the 2019 Deutschland Tour (Getty)Source: Getty
On the eve of his Aussie summer of cycling, Porte says he is as passionate as ever for another stoush with the Tour Down Under, the Olympic Games and the Tour de France.
By
Cycling Central

3 Jan 2020 - 8:25 PM  UPDATED 3 Jan 2020 - 8:39 PM

While the soon-to-be 35-year-old admitted in an interview with Tasmanian newspaper The Examiner he prefers time with wife Gemma and son Luca than riding his bike - especially when it's raining - he scoffed at claims he is past his use by date or "closer to the end of his career than the beginning."  

"A lot of journalists just have their opinion but who are they to judge us when none of them have a clue what they are talking about?" 

"I'm 34 and I still enjoy working hard and riding my bike. Sometimes when you wake up you just want to do the simple things with Luca and Gemma instead of being out the door before they wake up," he said.

"I want to spend more time at home, that's probably a bigger change for me than my age."

Porte's 2020 goals include another battle in a few weeks with Willunga Hill at the Tour Down Under and the "unfinished business" of both the Olympic Games and the Tour de France. 

The Tasmanian crashed out of the Rio Olympics road race in 2016 with a broken scapula and is hungry for the start line in Tokyo. 

"Rio was the start of three bad years of crashing so I did not enjoy the last Olympic experience but Tokyo will be a totally different race and I'd love to be there for Australia. That's a pretty big motivation for me."

Porte said finishing 11th in Paris was "not what I came for," as Trek-Segafredo plans its 2020 Tour de France around he and Bauke Mollema with Vincenzo Nibali anointed for the Giro d'Italia. 

"It was a disappointing season to be honest what with getting sick and having training camps in Utah where we were just stuck inside on home trainers.

"The fact that they let me come back to Tassie in early November and I did not have to go back to Europe for camps made it easier, especially with a young family, and one thing I'll change next year will be I want to be in Monaco more than I was this year.

"For me, I know when I come back to Tassie I'm going to be going round Scottsdale most days and it's the same in Monaco. It's easier to be at home in a familiar environment. I'm probably too old to change now."

Porte said new team mate Nibali is "not a bad guy."

"We were on the same amateur team in Italy and were living in the same town and all the climbs had Nibali written on them."

But there's no doubting Porte's name is written all over the tarmac of Willunga.