• Richie Porte at the 107th Tour de France (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
The City of Launceston will present the Key to the City to champion cyclist Richie Porte at a public ceremony on Saturday, January 30.
SBS Cycling Central

29 Jan 2021 - 9:07 AM 

The City of Launceston council unanimously supported a recommendation to present Porte with the 'Key to the City' at its ordinary meeting today, following a notice of motion from councillor Hugh McKenzie in October last year.

Porte is one the town's most famous residents after riding his way to third place at the 2020 Tour de France, achieving a closely-held ambition with the feat as he put behind him years of bad luck, illness and crashes to stand on the podium in Paris.

Mayor Albert van Zetten said that while the presentation was largely symbolic, it was an honour to be bestowed with the Key to the City.

"Richie has been a leading cyclist on the world stage for a number of years now and his performance to finish third at the Tour de France last year was simply an incredible achievement," Mayor van Zetten said.

Porte will become the fifth person to receive at Key to the City from the City of Launceston -- following on from round-the-world yachtsman Ken Gourlay in 2007, former world boxing champion Daniel Geale in 2012, national cricket captain Ricky Ponting in 2014, and composer Peter Sculthorpe AO OBE in 2015.

"Richie is a tremendous ambassador for his home state over a number of years and it certainly will be an honour to present Richie with the Key to the City in front of his friends, family and his fans on Saturday.

The Key to the City is traditionally presented by the Mayor at a civic ceremony to recognise outstanding achievement in sport, entertainment or humanitarian work at a national or international level.

Mayor van Zetten said a public ceremony would be held in Civic Square starting at midday on Saturday and he hoped Northern Tasmanians would embrace the opportunity to pay tribute to one of Australia's finest road cyclists.

"Richie has been at the top of world cycling now for a number of years and this presentation will provide the perfect opportunity for people to come out and recognise his incredible achievements," Mayor van Zetten said.