Porte spurred on by Froome's backing

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iol spt pic Richie Porte AP Australian Richie Porte says he has teammate Chris Froome's support in his quest to win the Tour de France. Photo: Peter Dejong

Besaneon, France - Australian Richie Porte said Tuesday he has teammate Chris Froome's support in his quest to win the Tour de France.

Reigning champion Froome crashed out of the race last Wednesday with a broken hand and wrist but before heading home to Monaco, the Kenyan-born Brit told Porte he believes he can win.

“Chris is a guy I train with every day, I don't look at him as a Tour winner, he's a mate,” said Porte on the first Tour rest day.

“The last thing he said is 'you can have these guys, believe that'. He also told the other guys in the team: 'get around Richie'.

“You appreciate that, Chris has more belief in me than I do have myself. Even before the crash he was saying that to me, he was like 'mate you've got to go for the podium, we can take them on and be both on the podium'.

“That was also his goal for the race, to have me on the podium with him.”

With 10 stages done, Porte sits second in the overall standings, 2min 23sec behind leader Vincenzo Nibali after a couple of strong finishes on climbs.

But he still has a lot to learn and Froome has been coaching him from afar.

“I got a message from him yesterday, which is nice obviously. He just said more about the tactics of guys sitting on me,” added the 29-year-old Tasmanian.

“It's nice to have the support from guys like him. Obviously I'll talk to him in the next week or so.

“Now's my opportunity to show next year I can be not just supporting him but another card to play.”


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