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"We haven’t had any luck on our side during this race, and not much luck throughout the whole season actually, but maybe it’s the year we had to have," Porte says

Photo: Sirotti

RICHIE PORTE

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TEAM SKY

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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26.07.2014 @ 19:31 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Having won the race twice in a row, the 2014 Tour de France was one to forget for Team Sky. The race comes at the back of a very disappointing season and team leader Richie Porte is philosophical about the disappointments, claiming that the team maybe needed an off-year after their recent dominance.

 

Danny Pate finished as Team Sky’s highest-ranked rider on the penultimate stage of the Tour de France as Vincenzo Nibali all but wrapped up the overall victory.

 

Pate was the 11th rider to hit the undulating 54km time trial course from Bergerac to Périgueux and his time of one hour, nine minutes and 22 seconds saw him top the leaderboard for over two hours before he eventually slipped to 11th in the standings.

 

Tony Martin (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) emerged as the stage winner, clocking a time of 1hr 06min 21sec, which proved 1min 39sec quicker than Giant-Shimano’s Tom Dumoulin. The day belonged to Nibali, however, and his fourth-placed finish secured his yellow jersey by a 7min 52sec margin.

 

Pate’s performance, though, was the high-point for Team Sky, and the American rider was in good spirits when he was interviewed immediately after his run.

 

“It was a cool time trial," he said. "It was a long ride but I had a tailwind, so I was hoping that would change for the guys at the end. I actually prefer time trials to normal stages at this stage in the race as I’m tired of racing in the rain with everyone else in the peloton - I’d rather race by myself."

 

Richie Porte had witnessed Pate's ride first hand and was full of praise for the commitment his team-mate had shown.

 

He told TeamSky.com: "Danny was really impressive. I actually followed him in the team car. He’s always the same, he’s a quiet guy that lets his legs do the talking and at the first time check, after 19km, he was already 50 seconds up on the next quickest guy.

 

"He was taking corners holding the aero bars and there were a few moments when I was scared he was going to crash. He was totally on it, totally dialled, and it was a really impressive way for him to round off his race."

 

Reflecting on the Tour as a whole, Porte admitted it had been a tough one for Team Sky, but revealed plans were already taking shape about how to bounce back stronger in 2015.

 

He added: "It’s been a really long Tour for us. The last two years we’ve ridden into Paris with the yellow jersey on our shoulders but this year’s been one big fight. We haven’t had any luck on our side during this race, and not much luck throughout the whole season actually, but maybe it’s the year we had to have.

 

"We’ve taken a bit of a kicking, but we’re already thinking about the 2015 Tour and how we can put things right. For now, though, I’m looking forward to reaching Paris tomorrow. It’s been a struggle but it’s always nice to finish the Tour, and that’s been my main goal since I got ill a few weeks ago. We’ll have a relaxed evening tonight and then fly up to Evry in the morning."

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