Greg Van Avermaet, Simon Gerrans and Tejay van Garderen among eight-man BMC squad for the Tour
Porte has shown fine form in the build-up to the Tour, thriving in the week long stage races as he has done throughout his a career, including winning the Tour de Suisse earlier this month.
He enters the Tour with the tough task of stopping Chris Froome and Team Sky’s victorious run at the race, with Movistar among the other teams fielding a very strong line-up. Porte looked in strong form during last year’s race, but abandoned the race after a huge crash on the descent of the Mont du Chat on stage nine.
The 33-year-old will be supported by a formidable looking team for this year though, with Olympic road race champion Greg Van Avermaet the stand-out name in the BMC line-up.
Two-time fifth place finisher at the Tour Tejay van Garderen will also take to the start in support of Porte, as well will veteran Australian rider Simon Gerrans, who joined the team at the beginning of this year.
Italian Damiano Caruso, who finished fifth overall at the recent Critérium du Dauphiné, will play a pivotal role in the mountains for Porte deeper into the race.
The American team, who regularly dominate team time trials like the one that features on stage three of this year’s Tour, bring a strong unit of Swiss duo Stefan Küng and Michael Schär as well as New Zealand’s Patrick Bevin to complete the squad.
“I’m ready for the Tour de France,” said Porte.
“Winning the Tour de Suisse was a big boost to my confidence, not only on a personal level knowing I wasn’t yet in my best shape but also for the team.
“The guys were fantastic there and the fact that our Tour de France team is comprised more or less of the same riders, with the addition of Damiano Caruso and Paddy Bevin, is really motivating.
“After a solid training camp at altitude, I will arrive in the Vendée region knowing I have done everything I can to prepare for the Tour de France.”
“I would love to stand on the podium in Paris,” he continued.
“As we saw last year, anything can happen so as cliché as it sounds, I really will be taking things day by day, week by week.
“As controlled as the Tour de France is compared to other races, it’s a bike race and with that comes a lot of unpredictability. I think we have a great team, it’s generally a good course for me, and I’m excited to start racing.”
BMC Racing line-up for Tour de France 2018
Richie Porte (Aus)
Patrick Bevin (NZl)
Damiano Caruso (Ita)
Simon Gerrans (Aus)
Stefan Küng (Sui)
Michael Schär (Sui)
Greg Van Avermaet (Bel)
Tejay van Garderen (USA)