Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond has warned Team Sky's Richie Porte of leaving the British team for a greater leadership role in another team.
The 29-year-old Australian will be out of contract next year and LeMond has urged him to think twice if he is considering leaving the British team.
After Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome won the Tour de France in 2012 and 2013 respectively, Porte might feel that he should be given the opportunity to lead Sky in a Grand Tour.
The Australian was scheduled to ride the Giro d'Italia as Sky's leader but the team withdrew him from the race because of health issues.
Instead Porte, who was essential to Froome's Tour win last year, will focus his attention on helping the Briton win a second successive title in the prestigious race.
While Porte has accepted the call to pull him from the Giro, his ambition is believed to go beyond his current role at Sky. An ambition which could see him switch to a team willing to make him the leader.
Although LeMond understands Porte's predicament, he has warned the Australian that “going to another team doesn't always work”.
The legendary American cyclist referred to his own switch in 1984 from French Renault team, lead by double Tour winner Laurent Fignon, to the La Vie Claire team of another French star Bernard Hinault.
LeMond, third in the 1984 Tour behind Fignon and Hinault, helped Hinault to win the 1985 Tour but then had to fend of a challenge from the French rider in 1986 when Hinault was supposed to return the favour.
If LeMond had stayed at Renault, chances are he would have lead the team in the 1985 Tour because a knee injury to Fignon meant he did not take part.
That is part of the reason why LeMond has warned Porte and said that a leadership role might not be as distant as it sometimes feels like.
He told reporters: "It depends on how the team is managed ... if it’s truly a top leader down [hierarchy] where everybody races for one rider – which you have to do at the Tour.
"But anything can happen on the Tour. It’s nice to have guys there who are just ready to take over – which can happen."
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