After a solid first year with BMC was brought to a close by a bad crash in the Rio Olympics, Richie Porte is well on the road to recovery and looking forward to a 2017 that will bring him more success in the Tour de France.
Porte, a spectator at the Tour of Britain, says he will begin Down Under, a race where he has won the queen stage three years running but the GC win has always eluded him.
"I’ve really only just talked about but I think, for sure, I'll do Tour Down Under. And I think that with the Paracombe stage and the Willunga it's going to be a different race to the one I've seen. The Tour is obviously the biggest but I think that races like Tour Down Under and Tour of Britain have found their niche," Porte told Cyclingnews.
After Down Under, the only other confirmed race for Porte is the Tour. He hopes to be allowed to race in Paris-Nice, Catalunya, Romandie and one of the Dauphine or Tour de Suisse, but says its up to the team.
"I'd like to do what I did last year in 2015, which was start well and win more races, like a Paris-Nice, a Romandie or a Catalunya and have a bit more confidence going into the Tour. This year the Tour, I knew that I was going in there with good condition but it would have been nice to have a few stage wins or GC wins before the Tour."
That is something Porte is more than capable of, having won two Paris-Nice and a Catalunya with Sky, as well as finishing runner up Down Under twice and in Pais Vasco once before.
Porte had a great 2016, taking second in the national TT before riding to second overall on home roads Down Under, as well as taking the queen stage. A bad race in Oman was soon forgotten as he took third overall in Paris-Nice before backing that up with fourth in Catalunya. A DNF in Romandie was followed by fourth in the Dauphine and fifth at the Tour, but a puncture on day two cost Porte 1:45, without which he would have placed second. This success is attributed to how easy it was to fit in with his new team.
"I didn't find it hard to come into BMC and get used to how it works. It's a good group and not that different from where I came from. We hit the ground running," he said.
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