Richie Porte to ride Herald Sun Tour for first time since 2011

The Australian will be making his return after an eight-year absence

Richie Porte at the 2018 Tour de Suisse (Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Australian Grand Tour hopeful Richie Porte is due to ride the 2019 Herald Sun Tour for the first time in eight years.

Porte will take part in the stage race down under for the first time since 2011 in Trek-Segafredo kit.

The 34-year-old moves to Trek from BMC, which is undergoing a radical change and becoming CCC Team from next year.

Porte told the Herald Sun (opens in new tab): “I’ve wanted to do it for years, but it just never really fit or I was riding for teams that weren’t going to do it, but next year with Trek it just worked.”

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The Tasmanian, who left Team Sky in 2015 to chase his own general classification ambitions, is expected to open his season at the Tour Down Under in January, where he has racked up six previous stage wins.

He will then race the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race before taking to the line of the 66th edition of the Herald Sun Tour, which runs from January 30 to February 3.

Porte has been chasing Grand Tour victory in recent years, but has been hindered by back luck.

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

He finished fifth in the 2016 Tour de France, but has not finished the last two editions of the race, crashing on stage nine of both the 2017 and 2018 editions.

Other big name riders have been firming up their 2019 plan, including Chris Froome (Team Sky), Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data).

Froome is due to open his season with the Tour Colombia in February, while sprinters Cavendish and Sagan will go head-to-head at the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina in January.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.