Tour de France Richie Porte confirms Team Sky exit

Richie Porte confirmed on Sunday that he will leave Team Sky at the end of 2015 in the hope of becoming a Grand Tour title contender elsewhere.

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Richie Porte confirmed on Sunday that he will leave Team Sky at the end of 2015 in the hope of becoming a Grand Tour title contender elsewhere.

The 30-year-old Australian, who is currently supporting Chris Froome at the Tour de France, has been linked with moves to BMC, Orica-GreenEDGE and Etixx-Quick Step.

While Porte did not discuss who he will race with from 2016, the long-time domestique for Sky clearly wants to become a team leader after four years supporting Froome and former general classification (GC) contender Bradley Wiggins.

"It's my last Tour de France with Team Sky, and I want to finish on a high with my mate Chris Froome," he told SBS after Sunday's team time trial.

Porte added: "I've got to take my own opportunities. I've won Paris-Nice and [Volta a] Catalunya this year. I had my big opportunity at the Giro [d'Italia], which didn't quite go to plan, but I'm ready.

"I'm in the prime of my career now, these next few years, and I need to go and lead a team."

Since moving to Sky from Team Saxo Bank for the start of the 2012 season, Porte has won the Volta ao Algarve, Paris-Nice (twice), Catalunya and the Giro del Trentino - plus claimed various podium finishes at the likes of the Criterium International, Tour Down Under and Australia's National Road Race Championship.

But with his responsibilities at Grand Tours generally having been about helping other riders to overall victory, Australia's current individual time trial champion has been unable to better his seventh-place finish at the 2010 Giro - the best Grand Tour result of his career.

This year's Giro was supposed to be Porte's shot at proving he can challenge for GC honours alongside the likes of Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Rigoberto Uran (Etixx-Quick Step) but a combination of time penalties and crashes saw him withdraw well off the pace.

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