• Porte at the Tour of Oman (AAP)Source: AAP
Richie Porte may have to reassess his goals at the Tour of Oman after losing more than three minutes in the opening stage on Tuesday.
Sophie Smith

Cycling Central
17 Feb 2016 - 8:38 AM 

Porte was distanced on the final climb that featured within the last 10km of the race Bob Jungels (Etixx-Quick-Step) won from a reduced group of 16 riders.

The opening stage has traditionally suited sprinters but, a quick succession of climbs within the last 25km of the undulating 145.5km run to Al Bustan, this year seemingly had the desired effect of race organisers to shake-up the overall early.

Jungels shows his growing strength at Tour of Oman
Bob Jungels powered to a calculated victory at the Tour of Oman to take the first leader’s jersey of the race against a class field on Tuesday.

Porte was named captain of the BMC squad in the lead-up to the event but it is his teammate Greg Van Avermaet that currently sits sixth overall at after fending for himself in the front group that contested the finish.

“I’m not afraid about Richie,” BMC sports director Fabio Baldato said post-race. “It was planned that he was able to make a decision during the race how his legs were."

“We don’t want to go too deep now, 20 days from Paris-Nice. It doesn’t matter."

“This, Oman, is more a way to come back to Europe. They don’t want to go hard immediately.”

Porte arrived in Oman from Australia two days before the race, which Baldato also considered.

The 31-year-old has been training in his native Tasmania since his race debut with the new team at the Tour Down Under in which he won the queen stage and finished second overall.

Porte in a pre-race press conference said he had an eye on the queen stage of the Tour of Oman, which, for now, is still a goal of the team.

“It took quite a long time to get here from Australia, delayed flights, but I’m happy with the feeling. It’s just how it is, you can’t target every race for the year,” Porte said.

“It was quite a tough stage, it was fast, quite warm but it wasn’t unexpected I don’t think that I lost time. I’m not here with any ambitions rather than try and get through the race and get some form out it. It’s a great race for good kilometres in the legs. For me, the next target is Paris-Nice.”

SBS2 will broadcast and live stream all stages of Paris-Nice from the 6-13 March.