The Tour de France and Ineos Grenadiers remembered Nicolas Portal before the start of the 9th stage in Pau, with his wife and children attending the unveiling of the last totem pole in the open-air museum of the Tour de France and then standing with the riders Ineos on the start line of La scène.The yellow totem pole recalled Egan Bernal’s victory in 2019, with a photo of Portal among the images selected to remember the race.
Portal died in early March at just 40 from a heart attack after suffering from a cardiac arrhythmia during his career. Professional pilot for a decade, he competed for Caisse d’Epargne, AG2R and Sky, before becoming sporting director for Team Sky in 2011.He was part of Team Sky during Bradley Wiggins’ victory in the 2012 Tour de France, then helped lead the team in the victories of Chris Froome (2013 and 2015-2017), Geraint Thomas (2018) and after that the team changed its name to Team Ineos. when Egan Bernal won last year.
“He was with me through the hard times, picking me up whenever I doubted myself, and by my side, cheering me on with every success. He left a truly phenomenal legacy, ”said Chris Froome at the time of Portal’s death.
Before the stage, the Ineos Grenadiers team posted a moving video on social media to remember Portal, from Auch, in southwestern France. Many of the team’s riders reposted the video, with their own moment of memory.
The riders then line up at the front of the peloton before the start, with the portal’s widow Magalie, their children Lenny and Aïnoa and the Ineos Grenadiers team manager Dave Brailsford.
Today at the Tour we start in Pau, Nico’s home for many years, this is how we will always remember him ❤️ pic.twitter.com/aiHFAEustG September 6, 2020