Chris Froome has paid tribute to his “good friend” Richie Porte who will retire from cycling after the Tour of Britain.
Porte played a big role during Froome’s 2013 and 2015 Tour de France victories in a super domestique role as Team Sky dominated the race.
The 37-year-old also won Paris-Nice and the Tour de Suisse during his 13-year career which will come to an end next Sunday.
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“It's going to be quite sad not seeing Richie in the peloton anymore,” Froome told Eurosport ahead of Stage 14 at La Vuelta. “He's been such a big part of the Grand Tours, especially over the last decade.
“For me personally, he was an amazing team-mate to me through all the big tours that I was winning.
“But more than that he's a good friend as well. Just a good person, always says exactly how he's feeling.
“You know where you stand with Richie and I will definitely miss seeing him around in the peloton.”
After numerous near misses, crashes and misfortune, Porte finally recorded his first Grand Tour podium at the 2020 Tour de France with Trek Segafredo.
He returned to Ineos Grenadiers, which was previously Team Sky, in 2021 and won the Criterium du Dauphine.
However, a crash on a chaotic opening day and another accident on Stage 9 saw him drop out of contention for the overall victory.
Illness forced Porte to abandon this year’s Giro d’Italia with two stages to go which was his last Grand Tour.
Asked if he had a message for Porte, Froome said: “My only message would be enjoy your retirement. ‘You've deserved it. No more suffering!’
“He's got a lot to be proud of. So I think he can definitely enjoy himself a little bit now.”
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