Giro d'Italia 2015 stage - 14
  • jules

    I still don’t see how it’s going to work at the Tour, with TeeJay.

    • Two pronged attack perhaps? Like Quintana/Valverde, Froome/Wiggins… should be fun

      • jules

        should be fun to watch! I hope Richie gets his chance

    • Whippet

      You’ve got a good point jules, but perhaps he is willing to take the risk. In 2016, Porte might have an opportunity to be the team GC leader in a grand tour (Giro or Vuelta or both). If Tejay doesn’t improve on 5th place at the Tour, he & Richie switch roles in 2017. Or perhaps fabio is correct, and Porte plays the number 2 role at the Tour. If Tejay can’t improve with Richie’s assistance, then Richie gets promoted.

      • jules

        Richie was already getting leadership at Giro with Sky. I don’t get why he was dissatisfied? maybe he felt they weren’t supporting him well enough there.

        • Whippet

          Your 3rd sentence might contain the answer jules. Your question assumes Porte was part of Sky’s plan. If Porte wasn’t in the plan, then he was forced to leave. Look at the people Sky have already signed (Kwiatkowski & Landa), and those who are rumoured to be going to Sky (Dan Martin, Intxausti and the two Izaguirres) and then add the fact that Geraint Thomas is being groomed as a potential GC contender (remember he threatened to move to Orica last year), it doesn’t look like Porte had much of a future at Sky. It is not even clear from any statement I’ve read that they were even prepared to keep Porte.

          • Whippet

            And I forgot to add, like Johnbenread says below, TVG’s BMC contract is over next year.

            • Dave

              I would guess that Sky got themselves a win-win deal by offering Porte an insultingly cheap contract – if he left they offloaded an unwanted rider, if he signed again they would have got themselves a fairly good domestique for peanuts.

    • Johnbenread

      TJ is reportedly moving to Trek Factory

      • TJ and Cav perhaps? Might mean that Trek returns to its winning ways

        • Ben Read

          Hopefully.

          Honestly at the moment it seems like they are a development team.

          Yes they had a rider in the yellow Jersey at the tour, Yes they had a rider in the 10 GC. Considering Trek Factory’s budget, one would expect more.

          Especially since they have the best bikes!

          • Whippet

            Cancellara had bad luck, but was otherwise riding well. Jungels and Van Poppel have had excellent seasons. Even the Trek bosses couldn’t have expected Mollema to be better than a top 10 finisher, could they?

    • Betty M. McKinney
  • Derek Maher

    Porte was wise to make the move from Sky.I think the Giro taught him a lot about team support.Best of luck to him.
    Astana will regret letting Landa go.Sky will make a big attempt for the Giro in 2016.I see Vincenzo is riding the Tour of Spain now his form is coming back.Now if he could get his winter training right he should do better in 2016.

    • De Mac

      Yep, agree with you re the Giro – he was the nominated GC contender for sure, but my personal opinion is that he wasn’t given as strong a support team as he deserved.

      • Dave

        It looked to me like Brailsford has a consistent policy of selecting first-string domestiques for first-string leaders in first-string races, and second-string domestiques for second-string leaders in second-string races.

        Sky has always had a heavy Tour-first approach where many other teams would have multiple objectives, all other stage races are subservient to that main goal. I expect this to be different next year thanks to sponsorship concerns.

    • Dave

      Even if he did get offered another year by Sky, there were two big reasons that Porte should have jumped ship anyway.

      The first is that time is running out on his peak years – he’ll be 31 by the next transfer season which would lower his stocks considerably if he didn’t get runs on the board next year. Next year he would probably have next to no chance of a multi-year deal.

      The second is that time is running out for Team Sky with their big five sponsorship contracts (BSkyB, Sky Italia, Jaguar, Pinarello, Rapha) all expiring at the end of 2016. It’s a good move for Porte to leave instead of hoping the transfer market doesn’t get flooded next year (his price would then depend on coming as a package deal with Froome).

      The sponsorship issue also explains the discarding of Porte and all of the new signings by Sky. The Sky Italia money is a fair chance of being renewed even if BSkyB either pulls out or downgrades, and so they have heavily focused on major Italian races with Landa (for Sky’s first full-strength attack on the Giro) and Kwiatkowski (for major Italian one day races and week-long tours).

      • Whippet

        Dave, your first point makes sense. Your second point might also have some merit, though we don’t know how the prospects of the sponsors resigning. However, Landa & Kwiatkowski do not seem to have any particular advantage in Italy. Kwiatowski didn’t place in the top 20 of Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo or Lombardia last year. Landa performed well this year in the Giro, but it is only his second time racing there, so it doesn’t necessarily indicate that the Giro suits him more than other races.

  • Abdu

    TJ is gone, to Trek.

  • Nic Lowe

    Mr. Porte has been very successful at Sky, it’s only really during the grand tours that he does not feature in a leadership role. Doubt he’ll win as much elsewhere but you have to wish him all the best, seems like a good bloke.

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