Richie Porte will again hit the slopes of the Tour de Romandie one year after taking overall victory at the UCI WorldTour stage race.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
BMC Racing
24 Apr 2018 - 9:40 AM  UPDATED 24 Apr 2018 - 10:07 AM

Despite entering the race as defending champion Porte will continue with a relaxed preparation which focuses on the Tour de France.

Also lining up are Australian compatriot Rohan Dennis, who is fine-tuning his Giro d'Italia preparations, American wingman Tejay van Garderen, three Swiss riders Tom Bohli, Kilian Frankiny and Danilo Wyss with another American, Joey Rosskopf rounding out the Romandie roster.

"I'm not putting too much pressure on myself heading into the Tour de Romandie this year as I don't really know where my form is," Porte said.

"However, while I have more modest ambitions this year, it is a race I enjoy so I will be going there ready to give 100 per cent. Overall, I think we have a good group of riders lining up so, I am looking forward to getting started."

Switzerland is also the home base for BMC and the race will be particularly poignant for the team and its riders following the recent death of founder Andy Rihs.

"Being on a team so closely linked to Switzerland means that this race is a big goal for us," van Garderen said. My form is good and we are very motivated especially having Richie Porte, the defending champion, on the team. It gives us an extra incentive. The course suits us, and we are ready to fight. We owe it to Andy."

 

Team director Fabio Baldato identified the team goals for the 24-29 April race as mixed and more of a testing ground for future ambitions rather than a specific outcome.

"Looking at the parcours, I think the time trial on Stage 4 will be important and we will see what the situation is when we reach that," he said.

"We also have Tejay van Garderen lining up and he is in good shape so we will look to protect him and put him in a good position for the General Classification as well.

"After the TT, there is a really hard stage in the mountains. It's short but with four tough climbs so we will keep looking at the situation to see what the best plan will be when we get there."