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BMC rider relishes opportunity to pursue personal goals.

Photo: Sirotti




22.04.2016 @ 09:22 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

When Richie Porte lines up at the Tour de Romandie (April 26-May 1), the Australian hopes to step up a gear in a season that he is engineering towards his first peak at the Tour de France in July, a race that will witness him form a BMC co-leadership with American Tejay van Garderen.


Porte's start in Liege-Bastogne-Liege was only announced on Wednesday as he finished a training camp at Mount Etna in Sicily. 


Asked about his Liege-Bastogne-Liege aspirations, Porte told Cyclingnews, "Liege is probably the biggest one-day race for guys like myself. I have never really done well there [Did not finish either of two starts in 2013 and 2014]. We will see how Phil Gilbert is after his [finger] injury. I would love to be there in the final. I will just have to take it as it comes I suppose."


Following the Liege-Bastogne-Liege, POrte will set his sights on the Tour de Romandie. Porte will certainly be looking to step up his game and edge closer towards the win rather than the podium as has been the case so far this season. 


"There is a quite a long time trial in this race," Porte said. "I would like to be towards the pointy end a little bit more. This year with Paris-Nice … I didn't have the time trial up Col d'Eze and Catalunya doesn't have the time trial in it. Romandie is a nice race. It is where I had my first professional win in 2010 [stage 4 time time trial]. Obviously, riding for a Swiss-American team there is a little bit of pressure on us to get the win there."


Bodes well for the Tour de France

As far as the Tour de France is concerned, Porte believes he is still on track even if his number of wins this season pales in comparison to this time last year when he was en route to overall victory at the Giro del Trentino before leading Sky at the Giro d'Italia, a mission that soured with Porte's withdrawal from injuries in a crash.


So far, Porte has placed second in the Australian time trial championship, third at Paris-Nice, and fourth at the Volta a Catalunya, and won a stage win at the Tour Down Under finishing second overall. Still, Porte is confident he will be primed for the Tour.


"A lot of other GC guys have already done two altitude blocks. So to come off a good base in 'Tassie' where I did just kilometres and no efforts … really now [at Mount Etna] is the first time I started to do proper efforts. So to be sitting now third in the UCI rider rankings after third and fourth [at] Paris-Nice and [then] Catalunya, and second at Tour Down Under, mentally this year is a much different approach. This time last year, I was probably peaking at my best. To delay that peak another couple of months … I think it bodes well for the Tour."



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