Mon July 16, 2012 7:16am
TASMANIAN Richie Porte is shocked at abuse hurled by Aussie spectators as he competes in the Tour de France.
TASMANIAN Richie Porte has been shocked by abuse hurled at him by Australian spectators as he competes in this year's Tour de France.Porte, 27, of Hadspen, has been called a traitor as he rides for Britain's Team Sky alongside race favourite, Briton Bradley Wiggins, and against Australia's defending champion and national sporting hero Cadel Evans.Porte's Sky teammate, fellow-Australian Michael Rogers, revealed the abuse from spectators with Australian accents via Twitter at the weekend.The job of the two Australians is to ride in front of Wiggins to pull him up difficult mountain climbs following another rider can save up to 30 per cent of a rider's effort.They also must chase rivals who try to break away, including Evans, the No.1 rider for Swiss team BMC.After copping insults on mountain climbs on Thursday and Friday, Rogers wrote on Twitter: "Perhaps the Aussies booing Richie Porte and myself would like to pay our wages from now on get over it."It was on the slow sections in the mountains, where riders sometimes go at little more than jogging pace, that the abuse happened, particularly on stage 11 when Evans tried to break away from Wiggins and Team Sky hunted him down.Porte refused to detail what was said to him but told journalists in France it had left a bitter taste in his mouth."They are screaming stuff in your ears it's pretty hard to miss," Porte said.Team rallies around Goss: Page 37 in today's edition of the Mercury