• Richie Porte at the 2016 Criterium du Dauphine (Sirotti)Source: Sirotti
Richie Porte has been anointed road captain of the BMC Racing team for the Tour de France that was confirmed overnight.
Sophie Smith

Cycling Central
23 Jun 2016 - 7:52 AM  UPDATED 24 Jun 2016 - 1:22 PM

The 31-year-old will be representative of the nine-man squad and receive equal support to American Tejay van Garderen in his career first bid for the maillot jaune.

Australian national time trial champion Rohan Dennis is among the seven riders, also including Brent Bookwalter, Marcus Burghardt, Damiano Caruso, Amaël Moinard, Michael Schär and Greg Van Avermaet, to support the pair’s dual general classification bid from July 2.

“Richie and Tejay will both receive equal support from the staff and riders within the team structure during the race itself. Throughout the race, Richie will act as BMC Racing team's road captain and as such will represent the riders' interests both on and off the bike," general manager Jim Ochowicz said.

Porte displayed fine form at the Criterium du Dauphine earlier this month and held his own in the mountain stages alongside defending Tour champion and former teammate Chris Froome (Sky).

The Tasmanian transferred from Sky to BMC this season with the opportunity to chase his own success at the Tour an impetus.

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Porte has a handy arsenal at his disposal with BMC, which aided Cadel Evans to become the first and currently only Australian to win the Tour de France in 2011. Bookwalter, Burghardt, Moinard and Schär all assisted Evans to victory that year.

“To know that Tejay and I will be supported by such a strong group of guys is really motivating,” Porte said. “I've already raced with these seven riders a lot this season and I'm confident that we are going into the Tour de France in a really good position.

"My form is good, my legs are good and after another week of fine-tuning, I'm definitely ready to race. It's an exciting time.”

Van Garderen, who led BMC at the Tour last season, has observed a different lead-up to the race than that of Porte.

The 27-year-old will enter on the back of the severely weather affected Tour de Suisse in which he won a stage and finished sixth overall.

“I'm taking confidence out of the Tour de Suisse heading into the Tour de France, especially with the team that we are taking. I've already raced the Tour de France a couple of times with most of these guys, so I couldn't be happier to line up with them once again,” van Garderen said.

“I'm in great shape, I'm really motivated, and I'm looking forward to rolling out in a little over a week.”

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