Updated: Friday, 25 April 2014 01:52 | By Agence France-Presse

Missing Giro was my choice, says Porte

Australian 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.

Missing Giro was my choice, says Porte

Richie Porte from Australia waves to the crowd on the podium after stage 5 of the 2014 Tour Down Under cycling race at Willunga Hill near Adelaide on January 25, 2014 - by Mark Gunter

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.

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 saw him abandon from both the Tirreno-Adriatico and Tour of Catalunya, meant he had to pull out of the Italian extravaganza.

Instead he will again be title-holder Chris Froome's main lieutenant at July's Tour de France.

"I want to talk a bit about the Giro and what happened," Porte wrote in his blog on cyclingnews.com.

"Look, first off it was a really tough call but at the end of the day, I decided that I just couldn't go there and race. It was my decision, not the team's and they've been really supportive and didn't put any pressure on me whatsoever.

"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.

"In the last few days, of course I've thought about changing track and going to the Giro," added the 29-year-old Tasmanian.

"You're out training, you're feeling good and you can't help but think to yourself 'yeah I can still do this' but a month without racing just means it's not realistic. 

"A month without racing feels like an eternity and no matter how much work you do at altitude, it's still not the same.

"The reality is that you can't lose three weeks of training so close to a grand tour.

"Now I'll go to the Tour, where we'll have a stronger team and a clear set of aims. We have the defending champion, and the best rider in the peloton in Froomie and I'm looking forward to racing alongside him.

"So it's Liege next and then Romandie. I did Romandie last year and my form at that time was on a bit of a downward spiral but I'm coming into that race quite fresh."

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