Richie Porte is a key rider for Team Sky but after a disappointing Tour de France, does he have what it takes to win a Grand Tour?
My first reaction to this question is no, he doesn't. After how he raced during the Tour I can't see how he could win a major race because as an all-round cyclist he can't compete with top riders.
Riders such as Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali and Alejandro Valverde are on a different level to Porte, who in my opinion should remain as Chris Froome's number two.
Porte is an excellent bike rider but he is better supporting someone than being the leader. He's a powerful man so is good at helping on climbs but he lacks the explosive speed up the mountain that other top riders have.
Both in the Alps and Pyrenees, Porte was dropped by his main rivals and suffered heavily on the climbs, as unlike last year it was up to him this time to stick with the leading riders.
With Froome leaving the Tour so early Porte had been given the chance to show the World why he could lead Team Sky. But, he failed to take the opportunity. It was also unfortunate that he could not lead the team at the Giro d'Italia due to illness.
I'm not sure if the British team will give him another opportunity to lead the team either as Froome is supposed to be the number one man at the Vuelta a Espana, and if he wins that I could see him trying to win the Giro next year.
If Porte is to win a Grand Tour he will have to think about moving teams, otherwise he may end up in the same position as Sir Bradley Wiggins.
As much as I don't think Porte can win a major race there is still some hope. The Australian may not have ridden as well as predicted in the Tour but there are signs that he could become a good leader.
Not at Team Sky
This won't be of Team Sky, but a move away from the team to a new one could be what he needs. If he has a strong team behind him he could go and win a Grand Tour but he will have to be at the very top of his form.
Porte has been very inconsistent lately and whilst he can beat anyone on top form, he seems to just drift away when not at the highest level. The top riders can beat anyone in form or not which is the difference between them and Porte.
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