Richie Porte takes his first win in BMC colours. (Image: Tim Bardsley-Smith)
  • Mark Blackwell

    If mental strength is the issue, not sure that talking about it in the press is the best way forward. I’d love to see him do well… that ride up Willunga was awesome to watch.

    • velocite

      I thought that too, but on reflection, who knows how to increase ‘mental strength’? Maybe you aim a few slings and arrows and see what happens.

      • Dave

        This.

        I would suggest he needs to be stretched a bit more in areas where Sky kept him in cotton wool. Working as a climbing domestique probably prevented him from developing strong race awareness – as shown by his letting a gap go in front of him on the TDU stage 4 finish – which will be a big problem if he leads BMC in the Giro d’Italia.

        However, at the end of the day it will come down to whether he wants it enough. Maybe the root of his problems is that he was lucky enough to have a ridiculously successful first grand tour instead of a harder climb through the ranks?

        • velocite

          Race awareness, eh? Perhaps he could take lessons from Caleb Ewen – he doesn’t miss anything.

          • Dave

            There’s a bloke who retired from BMC recently after having taken GC and Points victories in different grand tours who might be able to help with that.

            Maybe even a sabotaged power meter head unit might not be a bad thing every now and then!

    • jules

      why not? mental strength is a skill, it can be learned and developed. it’s not like gonorrhea.

      • Sean

        @disqus_bDUiSNPQWN:disqus if you work hard enough and apply yourself with absolute determination, you’ll be able to improve your gonorrhea.

        • jules

          I know that Sean. no one is more committed than me to gonorrhea. what I meant though was that I don’t like to talk about it, while mental strength is hardly a taboo topic.

      • Mark Blackwell

        because such a public statement actually exploits the weakness, whether you are happy to talk about it or not.

        • jules

          does it? you don’t say how, but I have visions of Richie breaking down in tears if one of his rivals asks him if he’s going to crack today. I don’t it’s that type of weakness.

      • velocite

        I don’t see mental strength as a skill. It’s just a made up thing, like confidence. All that matters is what you do, not how you feel. Err..

        • Dave

          Are you Sir Dave Brailsford?

          • velocite

            Nah, Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday in Wyatt Earp.

      • Dave

        Coaching from Steve Waugh – the Mental Disintegrator himself – should fix it. Or kill him.

    • Dave

      Pinotti is probably saying this deliberately to see if he can provoke Porte into showing some fight. Putting in a good performance at the TDU shows the team nothing, that’s well within his existing comfort zone.

      The next step should be for BMC to send him to Tirreno-Adriatico. The rough and tumble of Italian racing will tell Pinotti and the other directors much more about whether Porte can step up than sending him to the familiar territory or Paris-Nice would. They need to know this sooner rather than later as it will determine if he goes to a grand tour with a full team’s worth of support to go for a top ten, or half a team to go for a top twenty with a few other guys there to target certain stage wins.

      My opinion is that Porte may well have left it one or two years too late to leave the structured program at Sky. They pigeonholed him as a climbing domestique, and 31 is quite a late age to be switching roles.

  • velocite

    It appears that the time gaps shown on these comments here in Aus are erroneously adjusted for ‘local’ time. Someone has blundered..

  • SteveAck

    He had the mental strength to call out durianrider as a c#%t when the latter tried to track him up the corkscrew…

    • save plants, eat vegans

      And Australia thanks him.

      • Bikeophile

        Just google Durianrider. Have to add my thanks to Richie.

    • TT

      No – If he had the mental strength he would have completed his session as if Harley was non existent.

    • Adam

      Was this on race day or just a training ride?

      • SteveAck

        Training ride

      • SteveAck

        Pre-race reconnaissance

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