• Australia's Richie Porte, rides during the eighth stage of the 105th edition of the Tour de France between Dreux and Amiens July 14, 2018. (Getty) (AFP)Source: AFP
Richie Porte has a “now or never” opportunity to win a Grand Tour in 2019, according to new teammate Koen de Kort.
Sophie Smith

Cycling Central
14 Dec 2018 - 7:35 AM  UPDATED 14 Dec 2018 - 10:01 AM

Porte is set to make his team debut with Trek-Segafredo in Australia next month with super domestique Koen de Kort among the Tasmanian’s future arsenal.

De Kort, who has previously worked for Alberto Contador, believes the 33-year-old can pull off the feat that has eluded him on three concerted attempts in as many years.

Porte crashed out of the Tour de France on stage nine both this year and last with BMC Racing. He finished fifth overall in his first Tour with the squad in 2016.

De Kort is based in Melbourne during the pre-season and has been asked multiple times at corporate events to weigh in on the capacity of his imminent, maillot jaune challenging teammate, who left Chris Froome’s service at Team Sky to have a shot at the Tour himself.

“It’s definitely going to be now or never,” said de Kort.

“He’s also not super young anymore and there are young talents coming, but I do have a lot of confidence that we can give it a good go. I believe he can win. He’s won a lot of big races before.”

Porte will transfer from BMC Racing that faced an uncertain financial future at the beginning and midway through the season, losing a portion of its key talent presumably as a result.

De Kort is hopeful luck instead of the tarmac will be on the side of the former two-time Paris-Nice champion through July.

Porte crashed out before the first cobble sector of stage nine from Arras to Roubaix this year. He lined-up at the Vuelta a Espana as preparation for the World Championships where he was to lead Australia in the men’s road race but withdrew due to illness.

“He’s definitely been unlucky,” said the Dutchman.

What's in store at the 2019 Herald Sun Tour

Trek-Segafredo riders based in Australia for the pre-season, including de Kort and Porte, will not have to travel abroad for preliminary training camps, saving on sleep.

Porte is a confirmed starter for the 2019 Jayco Herald Sun Tour from January 30. 

Watch the 2019 Jayco Herald Sun Tour with SBS - details TBC