Bobby & Jens: Richie Porte faced hostile spectators on Team Sky
The retiring Australian super domestique talks cycling’s toxic food culture and angry fans
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Richie Porte is one of the best domestiques to ever race, with a fair share of his own impressive results, including an overall Tour de France podium and several GC wins at shorter races. After this year, he’s calling it quits on his career, but before he does that, he found some time to come full circle on the latest episode of Bobby & Jens, having a fascinating conversation with his former teammates from the start of his career, Bobby Julich and Jens Voigt, touching on how riding for Sky could feel dangerous and the sport’s “toxic” relationship with food.
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Over the last decade, Porte has been a part of the sport’s biggest teams and some of its most famous moments, including that Mont Ventoux crash that caused Chris Froome to run without his bike.
“It’s like something out of a dream,” he recalls of that stage. “It was unbelievable that that could happen. But I also remember the crowd weren’t big Chris Froome fans, so it was kind of scary.” He rode for BMC then, but things were also crazy with fans in the years he wore a Sky jersey himself.
“There’s been times with Sky that it wasn’t safe,” he says. “I remember as a Sky rider being whacked, being punched in the ribs and stuff like that.”
Looking forward to the end of his career, he’s excited for one thing in particular: food. More specifically, being able to eat without thinking about his watts-per-kilo ratio.
“It’s just one of those things that us cyclists are very very good at making hard, is diet,” he says, going so far as to call pro cycling’s relationship with food “toxic.”
Other things have changed in his time as a pro. “In the last few years since Pogačar has come onto the scene, or Roglič, the racing is much more intense,” he says.
Porte also takes us back in time to the start of his career and breaking into the pro ranks, and updates us on the status of his Col de la Madone KOM.
Listen to this week’s episode for the full discussion.
“Bobby & Jens” is a weekly VeloNews podcast. It stars former pros Bobby Julich and Jens Voigt and features conversations with top athletes, coaches, emerging stars, and other newsmakers from the wide world of cycling. Subscribe now wherever you get your podcasts.
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