Out since mid-February, Richie Porte returns to racing at next week's Vuelta al Pais Vasco.
BMC Pro Team
2 Apr 2018 - 11:19 AM  UPDATED 2 Apr 2018 - 11:22 AM

The Tasmanian, who also missed last month's Tirreno-Adriatico, hasn't raced since developing a chest infection at the Volta ao Algarve where he finished 27th overall.

Illness fells Porte before Tirreno objective
BMC Racing will line up at Tirreno-Adriatico next week without leading man Richie Porte who has been ruled out due to illness.

That's six weeks with no racing in the legs and unsurprisingly he and BMC aren't expecting too much. 

"I am not going in with any expectations or putting too much pressure on myself," Porte said.

"For me, this race will be more about testing my form and getting back into the race rhythm than anything else."

BMC will instead look to Damiano Caruso who finished second overall at Tirreno-Adriatico. 

"This will be Richie's first race back and although he feels good, we don't want to give him the immediate responsibility of going for the GC," Valerio Piva, BMC sports director said. "Of course, we know Richie and maybe he can do something during the week but we will take it day by day."

"We know that (Caruso's) condition is there especially after he finished second at Tirreno-Adriatico and I think that if we take the right opportunities, he can do another good job here."

Caruso is keen to take on the GC fight. 

"This is one of the hardest stage races of the season, so it is going to be really difficult," Caruso said. "However, I think my condition is good and after my result at Tirreno-Adriatico, I would like to keep this trend going and try to go for the GC.

"I am going into the race without any stress and we will take it day by day and see what opportunities come up. Tirreno-Adriatico was confirmation of what I can do, so I'm feeling confident and I think I can do another good performance here.," Caruso said

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