Richie Porte, who’s had a breakout season so far through the first half of 2013, is staying put with Team Sky with eyes toward riding for the GC in a grand tour.
The UK-registered outfit announced Wednesday the 28-year-old Tasmanian will stay in a Sky jersey, but did not give details of the contract extension.
Porte admitted he was talking with other teams, but said Sky is the best for him to continue to progress as a pro.
“There was interest from other teams but Team Sky are the best in the world, with the best staff and riders. Guys like Tim Kerrison have helped me become a better rider and I know I can improve further working with the performance team we have here,” Porte said in a team release. “With this new contract comes an added responsibility, and while I’m more than happy to help guys like Chris Froome and Sir Bradley Wiggins in the future, I’d love to lead the squad in a grand tour next season.”
Porte has already hinted that he will likely lead Sky next year for a run at the maglia rosa. In his 2010 debut season, Porte held the pink jersey before riding to a top-10 finish. He moved to Sky last year and rode in support of Wiggins all season.
In 2013, he’s been among the best all season, winning Paris-Nice and finishing second at Critérium International behind Froome and second at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco (Tour of the Basque Country).
Team boss Dave Brailsford said the team will find space for Porte to take on more responsibility.
“Every time he has taken on a leadership role he has excelled. We saw at Paris-Nice exactly what Richie is capable of and there is no doubt that there is a lot more to come from him,” Brailsford said in the team release. “If he maintains his current trajectory there is no reason why he can’t go in to a grand tour and challenge for victory.”