• Cycling: 68th Criterium du Dauphine 2016 / Stage 6 Richie PORTE (AUS)/ La Rochette - Meribel 1454m (141km)/ (Photo by Tim de Waele/Corbis via Getty Images) (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Richie Porte may call on Cadel Evans for advice as he prepares for a career first maillot jaune assault with the same team that propelled the latter to Tour de France glory in 2011.
Sophie Smith

Cycling Central
30 Jun 2016 - 8:33 AM  UPDATED 30 Jun 2016 - 9:09 AM

The pair had an informal conversation at Paris-Nice in March about the Tour, which Evans is quite familiar with being the only Australian to have won it to date.

Porte will co-lead BMC Racing at the 103rd edition from Saturday having transferred to the squad from Team Sky this season for his own shot at the illustrious title.

“At Paris-Nice Cadel offered me, if I ever wanted to chat to him I’ve got his number,” Porte said.

“I mean, what a guy to chat to. That’s definitely something that I think I’ll pick up the phone to around the time of the Tour.”

Porte and American Tejay van Garderen will be able to call on four of the riders that helped propel Evans to his Tour title. Brent Bookwalter, Marcus Burghardt, Amaël Moinard and Michael Schär have all been selected for team’s dual yellow jersey attack.

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The Tasmanian Porte has supported defending Tour champion Chris Froome (Sky) as well as Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) at the race previously but never competed for himself. His first experience as an outright Grand Tour leader with Sky at the Giro d’Italia last year ended prematurely in part to a time penalty and then illness.

The Tour along with the Rio Olympic Games road race comprise the pinnacle of a season that the 31-year-old, like Froome, has adopted a slow-burn approach to.

Porte has appeared more relaxed in his run to the Tour compared with the Giro last season for which he observed a rigid diet and lifestyle alteration in the lead-up.

“I haven’t been drinking - I was never brilliant at that anyway. I think when you’ve been pro, I’m in my seventh season now, you just learn the little things. It’s not so much that you’re making sacrifices, I just enjoy it now, being on regime it’s not a chore now,” he said.

“You grow up don’t you and your life changes. I think now it’s just easier. I enjoy staying at home and eating rather than heading out. The temptation of alcohol is always there when you’re out at a restaurant whereas at home it’s not.”

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Evans won the Tour in his second season with BMC after a dedicated series of well-documented and gruelling attempts with various outfits. Porte has had just over six months to adjust to the culture at BMC and familiarise with new teammates and staff. He has identified quickly with trainer David Bailey and compatriot sporting manager Allan Peiper.

“BMC is a fantastic team and I’m happy I did leave my comfort zone, which was Sky, and experience something else. I really hope come the Tour I can really challenge and have my opportunity because that’s what these next two years are, a massive opportunity for me,” he said.

Porte will enter the Tour on the back of the Criterium du Dauphine, in which he held the measure of Froome and Contador, and an altitude training camp in Morzine.

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