BMC has named a strong and experienced team to support Richie Porte for the Tour de France, with Damiano Caruso and Tejay van Garderen in the lineup.
Cycling Central

BMC Racing
28 Jun 2018 - 8:11 AM  UPDATED 28 Jun 2018 - 8:12 AM

Porte finished fifth in the Tour two years ago and is rated Australia's best overall hope in the three-week race since Cadel Evans. He was well-placed last year, but suffered serious injuries in a horrific crash during stage nine.

Porte, who is now well recovered and racing to his best, showed his Tour de France campaign was tracking well by winning this month's Tour de Suisse.

"I'm ready for the Tour de France. Winning the Tour de Suisse was a big boost to my confidence, not only on a personal level knowing I wasn't yet in my best shape but also for the team," Porte said.

"The guys were fantastic there and the fact that our Tour de France team is comprised more or less of the same riders, with the addition of Damiano Caruso and Paddy Bevin, is really motivating. After a solid training camp at altitude, I will arrive in the Vendée region knowing I have done everything I can to prepare for the Tour de France.

"I would love to stand on the podium in Paris. As we saw last year, anything can happen so as cliché as it sounds, I really will be taking things day by day, week by week. As controlled as the Tour de France is compared to other races, it's a bike race and with that comes a lot of unpredictability. I think we have a great team, it's generally a good course for me, and I'm excited to start racing."

While van Garderen and Caruso ride shotgun for Porte in the high mountains, Tour de France stage winners and former yellow jersey wearers Greg Van Avermaet and Simon Gerrans will provide their experience during the flat and medium mountain stages, along with Michael Schar, Stefan Kung, and Kiwi Patrick Bevin.

SBS will broadcast the Tour de France live in HD from 7-29 July. 

The 2018 Tour squad will race against a backdrop of uncertainty surrounding BMC's future, with reports suggesting it will not exist in 2019 and that Porte is currently in discussions with Trek-Segafredo.

Porte will not comment about who he will ride for beyond this season, but BMC's inability to confirm a new major sponsor means the Tasmanian is probably on the move.

Trek-Segafredo has confirmed to Cyclingnews that they are talking to Porte's management. The team have been after a Grand Tour contender since Alberto Contador retired at the end of last season but contracts cannot be confirmed until after the UCI's 1 August deadline.

BMC have a rich Australian history, with Cadel Evans joining them in 2010 and the following year making history by winning the Tour de France.

Rohan Dennis also rides for the team and there has been speculation he will also leave. Another Australian currently at BMC is last year's surprise national road champion Miles Scotson.

While Gerrans will be one of Porte's key lieutenants at the Tour, this could be the 38-year-old Victorian's last season as a professional.

SBS’s bumper winter of sport continues with 2018 Tour de France
Come July, Australian sports fans will have a bounty of free-to-air action every night. While the 2018 FIFA World Cup heads towards the thrilling finals in Russia, in France the world’s biggest cycling race begins.