"If you are building a team to be competitive against the world's best then you'd want Richie Porte by your side."
The words of INEOS Grenadiers team principal Sir Dave Brailsford in confirming cycling's worst kept secret that Tasmania's Tour de France podium-finisher is heading back to the team where he enjoyed some of his greatest successes.
Porte spent four seasons as a Team Sky rider from 2012 to 2015, helping Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome to three Tour de France triumphs, and said he is delighted to return after spells with BMC (2016-18) and Trek-Segafredo (2019-20).
"I had four fantastic years and some of the happiest memories riding here," said the 35-year-old, from Launceston.
"I weighed up the options and I'm very motivated to be able to finish my career at such a fantastic team.
"I've been privileged with the teams I've ridden with but the camaraderie in this team is just incredible. It's a great atmosphere and it will be nice to come back and hit the ground running. There are still so many good people and friends in the team that I've worked with before."
Porte even met his wife Gemma while working for the British-based team and is comfortable to be seeing out his career as a domestique for young guns like Egan Bernal rather than challenging for major titles as he has for the last five years.
"I'm motivated to be a part of more victories and to come back and race with some of the best guys in the world.
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"I know what my role is - I know I can still win races on my day, but I see myself slotting in as a climbing domestique and it's something I really look forward to."
Brailsford said the Monaco-based father-of-two would join Tom Pidcock, Laurens de Plus, Dani Martinez and Adam Yates as new signings for next season.
"Richie's richly-deserved podium at the Tour de France once again demonstrated that he's one of the best riders in the peloton," he said. "With the wealth of experience that Richie now has he has so much to offer the team. "