• Richie Porte is hoping to become the second Australian to win the Tour de France. (Getty)Source: Getty
Can Richie Porte follow Australian compatriot Cadel Evans as the second man to win the Tour de France? His team thinks so and have provided strong support for the Talented Tasmanian in his bid.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
BMC Pro Team
23 Jun 2017 - 10:12 AM  UPDATED 26 Jun 2017 - 2:42 PM

The Tasmanian's BMC squad will head into the Tour de France with a single objective in mind, to position the Australian on the final podium in Paris on 23 July.

Now we know who will ride alongside Porte and it's encouraging the team has outlined a single objective, but will it be enough to counter a powerful Team Sky lineup?

After a stellar run-up to the Tour, which included victories at the Santos Tour Down Under, Tour de Romandie and second place at the Critérium du Dauphiné, Porte and his team think they will have Sky's measure when they line up on 1 July.

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"The Tour de France is the big goal of the season and it has been a great season so far," Porte said. "I can definitely take confidence from my races and I feel like I'm where I need to be, knowing that July is when I need to perform.

"BMC Racing Team has put a great team together around Greg Van Avermaet and me. I think we have strength in all of the areas needed."

So, who is in the squad? Damiano Caruso (ITA), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Stefan Küng (SUI), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Nicolas Roche (IRL), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) and Danilo Wyss (SUI).

Seven riders will be devoted to providing service to Porte, with Van Avermaet, the best one-day rider in the world this year, sniping for the odd stage win.

"Our absolute priority is the general classification with Richie Porte but in Greg Van Avermaet we have the Olympic champion, two-time Tour de France stage winner, and wearer of the yellow jersey in 2016, so we would love to see Greg win another stage when the conditions are right and Richie is safe," sports director Fabio Baldato said.

"We expect Damiano Caruso and Nicolas Roche to be the last two teammates with Richie in the big mountains. We have riders like Alessandro De Marchi and Amaël Moinard who will be crucial before and between the medium mountains.

"For the flat stages when the race is fast and difficult, we have our rouleurs, Stefan Küng, Michael Schär, Greg Van Avermaet and Danilo Wyss. These are the riders who will protect Richie and bring him to the line safely.

"To have Richie Porte on the podium at the Tour de France would be a great result. Of course, we are lining up to win the race, to win the yellow jersey. We are going all in for Richie."

"All nine of our riders are coming to the Tour de France in good condition and we have a strong team. When we started planning for the Tour de France in December last year, these were the nine riders we had in mind."

The stakes are high for the 32-year-old Porte after several years as an understudy to Sky's three-time winner and defending champion Chris Froome. He enters his seventh Tour as the unquestioned team leader and with a squad devoted to delivering a result.

"I am definitely a mix of excited and nervous. You can't deny that the Tour de France is the biggest goal of the season, but that means it's also another level of stress," he said.

"It's a balance of being well-prepared and fresh enough to race at the highest level across 21 stages, but I feel like I'm in that position now.

"I'm just really looking forward to rolling out for the time trial next Saturday in Dusseldorf and then having a good three weeks of racing until we reach Paris."

BMC for the Tour de France
Damiano Caruso (ITA), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Stefan Küng (SUI), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Richie Porte (AUS), Nicolas Roche (IRL), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Danilo Wyss (SUI).