Richie Porte is aiming to take the focus away from the Tour de France in the 2019 season with his new Trek-Segafredo team.
The Australian Grand Tour hopeful has had another promising start to the year, winning on the Willunga Hill stage of his home race for the sixth time in as many years.
But the 34-year-old said he hopes the pressure will be off with his new team, and that he won’t be judging the season based entirely on the Tour.
In an interview with Australian newspaper The Examiner, Porte said: “It’s a team I’ve been close to joining a couple of times.
“It really takes the pressure off. With Trek, the Tour’s not the reason why they signed me.
“You go there and have a crash and it’s like the season is looked at as a disaster, but it’s not.
“If you win other races, it’s still a good season.”
Porte certainly has the skills to win a Grand Tour, being both an outstanding climber and a strong time triallist.
But he crashed out of the Tour in 2017 and 2018, both on stage nine.
His best result is fifth on GC in 2016.
Porte told The Examiner the biggest victory of his career was the Tour de Suisse last year, putting it above even Paris-Nice.
He hopes to repeat that success this year, and said he will “see what happens at the Tour” while hoping to avoid the bad luck.
To recover from his spate of serious injuries, Porte said he has been focusing on pilates to get his mobility back.
He added: “I will probably do at least another four years, that will take me up to 37.
“I’ll just take it while I’m getting offered contracts. It’s not a bad job. It has its moments.”
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