The success story of Richie Porte is remarkable, and one Tasmanians can reflect on with pride.
And from the reaction on social media to the Hadspen Hero realising his boyhood dream with a Tour de France podium finish, people are overjoyed by the accomplishment.
The adversity of Porte’s Tour history is well documented.
But even though there were the times of anguish in 2016, 2017 and 2018, his supporters have been there every step of the way.
And for Porte, on the other side of the world and immersed the Tour’s aftermath, to give his local news masthead the chance to celebrate with him goes to show how much he appreciates Tasmania and what it has given him.
The 35-year-old father of two has long been a great example of what can be achieved from Australia’s island state and has no doubt inspired other Tasmanian rising sports stars to push for their dreams.
The Examiner sports editor Rob Shaw’s interview on page 28 is a sobering and inspiring read.
“In 2016 I would have been there without the puncture, in 2017 I was in the form of my life and right up there and in 2018 I was in great condition again, so to finally get through – with all the usual dramas of course – is an absolute dream,” he said.
“I’m just so happy to get that iconic photo on the Champs-Élysées with the Arc de Triomphe in the background.
“For a boy from Hadspen who just enjoyed riding a bike, to get to this point I have to pinch myself.”
It highlights the hurt and sacrifices Porte has been through and the fact he recognises his beginnings riding Northern Tasmania’s roads.
Tasmania has produced many Olympians and sports stars, and Porte is undoubtedly somewhere near the top of the tree.
His triumph will no doubt inspire many young cyclists, and athletes, around the world to never give up on their dreams regardless of setbacks and challenges.
Congratulations, Richie, you’ve done us all proud.