Australian rider Richie Porte won the Paris-Nice race after a dominant victory on the final time trial stage on Sunday.
Porte was in the leader’s yellow jersey overnight and only needed to protect his lead. But he attacked from the start and dominated his rivals on the uphill time trial, finishing a massive 23 seconds ahead of American cyclist Andrew Talansky, who was also second overall.
The 28-year-old Porte posted a time of 19 minutes, 16 seconds over the 9.6-kilometers from Nice to Col d’Eze to become the first Australian to win the race.
“I can’t believe it, the first Aussie to win such a big race,” said Porte, who shook hands with Talansky as the American was warming down on a stationary bike.
“It’s just an honour to have my name up there with Bradley Wiggins, Tony Martin, all the big champions.”
Talansky was 32 seconds behind Porte overnight, but the Garmin-Sharp rider slipped further behind to finish 55 seconds adrift in the final standings.
Frenchman Jean-Christophe Peraud finished third overall, 1:21 behind, despite coming off his bike, and American cyclist Tejay van Garderen was 1:44 back in fourth spot.
He follows in the footsteps of Sky teammate Wiggins, who won the race last year before going on to win the Tour de France.
But Porte, who came relatively late into professional cycling, ruled out any likelihood of becoming a main contender on the Tour later this year.
“I’m still doing my apprenticeship, I’m still learning from Bradley and Chris Froome, so I don’t expect to go to the Tour and ride for general classification,” he said.
“I’m in a good place at the moment and don’t really want to change anything … Whatever happens we’re going to have a hell of a team for the Tour de France.”