From his Monaco apartment, Richie Porte can see the Col de la Madone. It’s a mountain he climbs almost every day in training. Porte holds the Strava record for the quickest time up the climb: 33:19, and last year, a week after the Tour de France, he completed an Everesting challenge on it, climbing the 13.1km mountain almost 11 times, in just over 14 hours. During lockdown when Porte was confined to his apartment, unable to train outside as covid-19 spread around Europe, he’d sit on his terrace and stare at the Madone, thinking about how much he took for granted before. Things such as being able to get on his bike and ride in the mountains.

Porte turned 35 in January this year. He’s got a young family at home, a two-yearold son and a baby due in September, right in the middle of the newly rescheduled Tour de France. In his own words, he’s in the “twilight” of his career, and since children came along his perspective has naturally shifted. Cycling stopped being the most important thing. But while the enforced break from racing and riding has been a reality check in some ways, he’s emerging from the other side with one notion still in place. “At the end of the day, I did miss riding my bike. I guess that’s the most important thing..

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