• Richie Porte will test himself on the hardest stage of the Tour of Oman (Getty) (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Richie Porte is picking his battles more carefully this year and while the Tour of Oman is not one of them he is up for a fight on Green Mountain on Friday.
19 Feb 2016 - 1:02 PM 

The 31-year-old has not figured at the race he has described as a pit-stop between training in Australia and Paris-Nice, his next crusade, although that’s not necessarily indicative of form.

Porte discounted his overall chances at the Santos Tour Down Under last month before an attack around one kilometre from the top of Willunga Hill saw him win his third consecutive stage there and shoot to second overall.

The Tasmanian fell well out of overall contention in Oman on day one but has not ruled out a performance on Green Mountain where the pure climbers like himself and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) are expected to have their day.

In amongst Oman’s generally rocky and mountainous terrain, the 7.5km climb, which is 1.8km longer than previous editions, tops out at 13 per cent to earn queen stage status of the race Porte’s former Sky teammate Chris Froome has won before.

“I’d like to have a bit of a showing there,” Porte said before the third stage on Thursday.

“I remember doing it in 2013 and it’s steep, it’s probably one of the hardest climbs you’re going to do all year.”

Asked to compare the mountain finish, Porte offered the Zoncolan.

“It is that hard, it’s a solid climb. I think it’s even harder now it’s longer so, you know, that should be quite good for me.”