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INEOS directeur sportif Nicolas Portal passes away at age 40

The cycling world pays tribute to "Nico"

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.

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.

Portal with Caisse d’Epargne about to roll the 2007 Tour de France prologue in London.

There was an outpouring of grief and sympathy for INEOS and Portal’s friends and family on Twitter.

Portal led Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal to six Tour de France victories.