That’s right, you read that right…
Leader of UCI WorldTour Team BMC and Grand Tour GC contendor Richie Porte (left image: Porte attacking Chris Froome during the 2016 Tour de France) trains for and recovers from pro cycling events by swimming. Yeah… swimming!
Not only that, but Porte uses kick sets to recover from intense training rides, and has used swimming to rebuild and return to top cycling racing form after sustaining injuries from crashes.
Now, being an Aussie where learning to swim comes right after learning to walk and just before learning to ride the surf, Porte did start his athletic career as a swimmer so the fact that he has skill in the water is important to note. Plus, before turning to cycling, Porte did take a turn at the sport of triathlon.
So there you have it… not only can triathletes no longer use the excuse that since “swimming” is the shortest of the three disciplines so training for the sport can be put to the backburner, cyclists cannot use the excuse that cross training in the pool is a waste of time.
If a top cycling pro who has placed as high as 6th at World Time Trial Championships, has been the Australian National Time Trial Champion, has won numerous European stage races, has placed top 10 in tours such as the Tour de Romandie and Tour of Britain, and placed 5th overall in the 2016 Tour de France… if Porte swims, and believes swimming is suitable training for a cycling pro, then who can argue otherwise (least of all triathletes).