Richie Porte to make Trek-Segafredo debut leading team at Tour Down Under

As the racing season returns, Porte will look to start strong in his new outfit

Grand Tour threat Richie Porte will make his Trek-Segafredo debut at his home race.

Porte, who has switched from BMC Racing to Trek for 2019, has won the now-famous Willunga Hill stage five years in a row and will look to repeat his early season success.

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The 33-year-old has failed to deliver on his potential at the Tour de France in recent years, having crashed out of the last two editions.

>>> Tour Down Under 2019 route: Willunga Hill remains the pivotal stage amongst a host of sprints

He said: “The Tour Down Under is always a goal for me in the start of the season and it’s a joy to race in Adelaide every January.

“Obviously, riding my first race with Trek-Segafredo in Australia, I will be extra motivated to start with a good showing on GC and hope to continue the Willunga success.

“There is to be a very strong bunch of GC favourites racing who want to win the race so I know I’ll need to be on top of my game and I will be.”

Willunga Hill will no longer be the penultimate stage of this year’s Tour Down Under, instead it has been moved to the final day, taking the GC battle into the final kilometres of the race.

Porte finished fifth in the 2016 Tour de France with BMC Racing, but crashed out of the 2017 and 2018 editions, both on stage nine.

>>> Tour Down Under 2019 start list 

The former lieutenant to Chris Froome at Team Sky left the British WorldTour outfit to pursue his own glories with BMC.

He has since moved to Trek-Segafredo after BMC’s future was thrown into doubt last year.

Trek’s line-up at the first race of the 2019 season will include William Clarke, Koen de Kort, Ryan Mullen, Jarlinson Pantano, Kiel Reijnen and Peter Stetina.

The Tour Down Under kicks off on January 15, with six stages around Adelaide in the south of Australia.