Porte becomes first Australian to win Paris-Nice

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PARIS, March 10, 2013 (AFP) – Team Sky rider Richie Porte became the first winner of Paris-Nice on Sunday as he won the final stage 9.6km time-trial to hold off the challenge of American Andrew Talansky.

The 28-year-old began the day with a 32sec lead over Talansky in the prestigious race and came home in a time of 19min 16secs to wrap up the overall victory.

He increased his overall advantage 55secs with a rock solid showing in the time-trial that featured a rolling course suited to his talents and finishing with the only summit finish of the week-long race.

The Tasmania native, who only turned professional in 2010, picked up the biggest win of his career, although he had finished seventh in his debut season on the Giro d’Italia after holding the leader’s pink jersey for three days and finishing the race at best young rider.

“To succeed such great names as (Tony) Martin and Bradley (Wiggins) is huge for me. I feel very honoured,” he enthused after the race.

Frenchman Jean-Christophe Peraud snatched the final place on the overall podium by finishing fourth on the day to push American Tejay Van Garderen into fourth overall while compatriot Sylvain Chavanel had to settle for fifth.

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