Portal, who helped guide Chris Froome at Tour, dies at 40

The Associated Press

PARIS (AP) -- Nicolas Portal, a team official who helped guide four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome to victory at the race, has died. He was 40.

His cycling team, Ineos, said the former rider turned sports director died suddenly at his home in Andorra on Tuesday. Media reports said he had a heart attack.

''Your spirit will always be with us on the road and you will forever be in our hearts,'' the team said.

As Froome's sports director, Portal helped plot the Briton's wins at the Tour, speaking into his ear via radio from a team car.

''He was the kindest, happiest guy I knew and always lived life to the fullest,'' Froome wrote on Twitter.

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