Richie Porte (Team Sky)
Aussie ace Richie Porte’s efforts for Chris Froome, as Team Sky’s leader stormed to Tour de France victory, earned him widespread plaudits, and the Tasmanian climber will be rewarded with the opportunity to step out of the shadows and compete as team leader. Set to spearhead Team Sky’s charge at the Giro d’Italia, Porte has already shown he has the all-round ability to win stage races, having won Paris-Nice this year.
His efforts for Froome this year, and Sir Bradley Wiggins in 2012, have propelled Porte to super-domestique status but he is equally comfortable in the role of team leader, too – as he proved at Paris-Nice. He was also second in this year’s Tour of the Basque Country, and won the Volta ao Algarve last year. He will return to race Paris-Nice again next year as part of his build-up to the Giro d’Italia, presenting the perfect opportunity to deliver a confidence-boosting title defence.