Aussie Focus

Porte returns to favoured Paris-Nice stomping ground

Two-time winner of Paris-Nice, Richie Porte returns to the traditional big opening stage race of the season with INEOS Grenadiers this year after his podium finish in the 2020 Tour de France. You can watch Porte's assault on Paris-Nice 2021 on SBS HD and SBS On Demand with live coverage and catch-up highlights available for the 'Race to the Sun'.

36-year-old Richie Porte is a Paris-Nice expert. He will be the only two-time winner of the race taking starter’s orders for the 79th edition in the Yvelines department on Sunday 7th March. He is also the only rider to have triumphed twice since Alberto Contador in 2010.

His successes in 2013 and 2015, were some of the premier successes of his career, until last September and his podium appearance at the Tour de France.

Porte has been training the house down in Launceston in preparation for his return to Europe, averaging just shy of 980 kilometres a week according to his Strava account for the last seven weeks before hopping back on a plane to his base in Monaco, close to the race finish in Nice.

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“I can’t really say what my ambitions are for this edition of Paris-Nice,” said Porte. “I’ve just arrived from Australia and even in normal conditions, it’s already an extremely complicated race to win. This time, I just don’t know what sort of form I’ll be in. I’ve only raced in January in Australia, whereas my rivals have already taken part in very competitive races in Europe."



Porte, 36, has five stage wins in the race, the most of any rider present on the provisional startlist, and the Tasmanian knows what he has to do to be successful again.

“Paris-Nice is not an easy race to win, so to have won it twice is gratifying,” he adds. “It’s a special race for me. Because I live in Monaco, I mainly train on the roads around Nice. So, I’ll have the feeling of racing at home towards the end of the week. It’s also a tricky race, with crosswinds on the first days and the mountains on the second weekend. It’s a difficult race for everybody”.

His 9th participation on the Race to the Sun will also witness another return ‘home’, rejoining the British team Ineos Grenadiers, packed full of potential leaders for the race, including Giro d'Italia winner Tao Geoghegan Hart.



Geoghegan Hart has already proved to be at ease on the steep roads of southern France in 2021, with 10th position (and a 2nd place finish on the last stage) on the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var.

“We have a very strong team for this edition of Paris-Nice,” said Richie Porte. “First and foremost, I want to play a role as part of the group and help the team to win, whoever it is with. Most importantly, I can’t wait to get started!”

Porte will be joined on the startline by Giro d'Italia runner-up Jai Hindley (Team DSM), perennial favourite Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) and INEOS Grenadiers teammate, two-time world time trial champion Rohan Dennis.

The biggest names in Australian cycling are set to race the UCI WorldTour race, Paris-Nice, from March 7-14, with the race set to be broadcast LIVE on SBS HD.




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3 min read
Published 4 March 2021 at 1:22pm
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS