Richie Porte believes BMC will send both him and Tejay van Garderen to the Tour de France as protected riders in the general classification
Richie Porte believes BMC will go into the Tour de France in 2016 with two leaders, himself and Tejay van Garderen.
Having played second fiddle to Chris Froome in the three-week race while at Team Sky, Porte hopes to have a licence to go for the general classification, even though van Garderen will likely have the same aim.
Porte pointed out in an interview with Australia’s Fairfax Media that a dual-threat attack is not uncommon in Grand Tours, including at Team Sky in 2012.
“It’s been great that Tejay picked up the phone to talk to me about it,” he said. “But it’s not uncommon that there are two guys [in a team] going for general classification.
“Well, with Brad [Wiggins] and Froomey we know how that worked out, but then there is also [Nairo] Quintana and [Alejandro] Valverde [at Movistar] and they were second and third this year in the Tour. Tejay and I are pretty good friends.
“I’m sure we can deal with it. It’s easier to have two guys [rather than] all the stress on one guy. I am man enough to tell Tejay if I am not on a good one and I would expect he is exactly the same with me.”
While Wiggins and Froome came first and second in 2012, Wiggins was always the favoured rider by his team to go for the win.
Recent history suggests, then, that having two leaders is not conducive to winning the Tour de France, with Froome (2013 & 2015), Vincenzo Nibali (2014), Cadel Evans (2011) and Andy Schleck (2010) all taking the win from a position of being the sole protected rider.
Van Garderen, though, achieved his best two Tour de France results while riding alongside Evans at BMC, finishing fifth in both 2012 and 2014. The 27-year-old American was forced to abandon the race this year while sitting in third overall due to illness.