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The sports director passed away suddenly due to a heart attack on Tuesday afternoon at his home in Andorra. The cycling world pays tribute to the inspiration Nicholas Portal was.

Portal was a pro rider since 2002 till 2010. He started at Ag2r La Mondiale and then moved to Caisse d’Epargne (Movistar). He rode the Tour six times. His biggest win was a stage triumph at the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2004. Nicholas spent his last season as a pro with Team Sky, he then transitioned to the position of a sports director. In 2013, he was the youngest sports director at the Tour and led Chris Froome to his first victory.

Portal was widely respected and liked in the pro world. Many riders published messages of condolence on social media, including Chris Froome and other big names.

Our thoughts are with Nicolas’ family.