Richie Porte has revealed that it was his decision rather than Team Sky’s to take him off their Giro d’Italia team in May.
Sky announced their nine-man Giro team on Thursday, with Briton Peter Kennaugh, Dario Cataldo of Italy and Belarussian Kanstantin Siutsou leading the British team, who will be aiming for stage wins rather than overall GC success.
The team’s biggest names, the past two winners of the Tour de France Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, are also missing.
Wiggins is competing in the Tour of California in May while Froome is being rested ahead of the defence of his Tour de France title in July.
Earlier in the season, Porte had been slated to lead Sky for the first time at a Grand Tour in Italy but a bout of gastroenteritis, which forced him to abandon both the Tirreno-Adriatico and Tour of Catalunya, meant he had to pull out of the Italian extravaganza.
Instead he will again be Froome’s main lieutenant at July’s Tour de France.
“It was my decision, not the team’s and they’ve been really supportive and didn’t put any pressure on me whatsoever,” the Australian wrote in his blog on cyclingnews广西桑拿,.
“I would have loved to have raced the Giro but at Tirreno I went from being up there on one mountain stage, and in quite good condition, to being knelt over a toilet in my time trial position due to gastroenteritis.
“I thought that I was okay for Catalunya but I just had nothing in the tank and when you know, you just know.”
Porte has just spent two weeks training on the Mount Tiede volcano in Tenerife with Froome.
He says he’s riding himself into form and even admitted there was a slight temptation to go for the Giro, before deciding he doesn’t have enough time to reach peak condition for a three-week race.
Instead he is looking forward to tackling Sunday’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege race before going on to the Tour of Romandie next week.
“A month without racing feels like an eternity and no matter how much work you do at altitude, it’s still not the same,” added the 29-year-old Tasmanian.
“The reality is that you can’t lose three weeks of training so close to a grand tour.