Richie Porte is, without question, a fantastic bike racer. I watched him ride my local roads some ten years ago, during the Tour of Britain, and I could see even then that my 34th place on a locally prestigious Strava segment was under serious threat.
Since then he’s been a twice winner of Paris-Nice, a winner of the Tours de Suisse and Romandie and, at times in his career, has looked like the best, most complete Grand Tour rider ever to get absolutely nowhere near ever winning a Grand Tour.
He has a seventh overall at the 2010 Giro d’Italia and a fifth at the 2016 Tour de France. Two top tens in thirteen Grand Tour starts. And that’s yer lot.
In fact, here’s a stat for you: Porte has only ever won a single Grand Tour stage: the Team Time Trial in the 2018 Tour de France.
So he even had to share that one.
I say this not to denigrate Porte, but to highlight such an incongruous lack of success for such a classy rider. He’s crashed, fallen ill, had bad days, and returned fresh each year as a name in the list of Tour de France GC contenders.
Only to crash, fall ill, or have more bad days.
Were I being cruel I might link the crashing to the poor bike handling skills befitting his background in triathlon.
But I’m not.
So I won’t.Embed from Getty Images
Talking of incongruous, though, when reappraising myself of Porte’s career highlights (via Wikipedia, I might add, so don’t take my facts as the absolute gospel) I discovered he has a nickname that, unless I’ve developed a strange case of nickname related selective hearing, literally no-one has ever used.
Richie “Tasmanian Devil Fish” Porte.
Further investigation confirms there isn’t even such a thing as a Tasmanian Devil Fish. There’s a Tasmanian Devil, or there’s a Devil Fish, and I have no desire to be the one who attempts to mate the two.
Could be messy.
Richie might never crack the podium of a Grand Tour, but at the very least he should be able to crack the having of a plausible (and biologically possible) nickname. So, he can either procure a vial of fresh Devil Fish sperm and approach a Tasmanian Devil with a friendly smile and a steady hand, or he can pick a new nickname.
He could go aggressive: Richie “Tasmanian terror” Porte.
Or comic: “Itchy” Richie Porte.
Or he could just have the season of his life and go with: “Tour de France winner 2019” Richie Porte.
Anyone know how I might get my hands on that fish sperm?
(Top Image: Denismenchov08 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D)