Upset in the making...
2010 Tour of Romandie.
Neo-pro Richie Porte will line up in Amsterdam for his first attempt at the Giro. The Tasmanian born now living in Monaco via Tuscany has had a quick rise to becoming pro.
In 2006, he was 21 when he started racing. A late comer to the sport. Put in hard work, good results propelled him to riding in Italy for amateur squads. Ability as a pretty fast timetrialist and climber caught the eye of 1999 Paris-Roubaix winner, Andrea Tafi. The Gladiator as Tafi is known has his own amateur team called Bedognie Grassi. Porte joined the ranks of the Gladiator and soon results followed. What is probably his breakthrough amateur year was 2009. The Baby Giro d'Italia TT stage was a special victory beating U23 world TT champion Adriano Malori by .10 of a second! Another stage win in the Giro del Friuli, and victory in the GP Citta di Felino pushed his confidence into overdrive.
Then in October 2009, Porte signed a neo-pro contract with Bjarne Riis's Saxo Bank. And his star seems to get even brighter as his surprised win in the 3rd stage TT of the Tour de Romandie. With confidence from his new team, the twenty-five year old Porte will give it a go in his first Grand Tour and I pick him to pull another surprise ...landing a stage 1 TT win!