Shocking news came from the INEOS camp today as it was announced that their directeur sportif Nicolas Portal died at his Andorra home at age 40. Reports have cited a heart attack as the cause of death.
It is with the greatest sadness that we announce the passing of our much loved team mate, colleague and friend Nico Portal who died suddenly this afternoon at his home in Andorra.
— Team INEOS (@TeamINEOS) March 3, 2020
The Frenchman retired from professional cycling in 2011 after one season with Sky, where he was teammates with Canadian Michael Barry. Portal first stayed on as a manager before taking over as DS when Sean Yates retired in 2012. Before racing for Sky, he spent four years with Movistar-incarnation Caisse d’Epargne and five years with AG2R Prévoyance. It was with AG2R that Portal took his only career victory at the 2004 Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré.
There was an outpouring of grief and sympathy for INEOS and Portal’s friends and family on Twitter.
— BORA – hansgrohe (@BORAhansgrohe) March 3, 2020
The thoughts of everyone at the UCI are with the family, friends and everyone @TeamINEOS after the tragic loss of Nicolas Portal today.
RIP Nicolas 💙 pic.twitter.com/9ojNLsaww2
— UCI (@UCI_cycling) March 3, 2020
Our hearts go out to the the family, friends, and teammates of Nico Portal ❤️ https://t.co/EM9ivfT3fu
— EF Pro Cycling (@EFprocycling) March 3, 2020
My first room mate as a pro. I Can’t believe the news of Nico Portal passing away my thoughts and love are with his family who he cherished more than anything. The friendliest most genuine, kind person you could wish to meet, words can’t explain how much he will be missed x
— Peter kennaugh (@Petekennaugh) March 3, 2020
Rest in piece Nicolas Portal, one of the nicest guys in pro cycling. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and team-mates pic.twitter.com/t8Doklqy9S
— Rouleur (@rouleur) March 3, 2020
Portal led Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal to six Tour de France victories.