The Australian has been out of action since crashing in the early part of stage nine of the Tour de France to Roubaix and breaking his collarbone. He outlined shortly after that he would be targetting a return to Grand Tour racing at the Vuelta, a race he hasn’t started since 2012 when he said he “got an absolute kicking.”
Porte, like many riders who have suffered injury or lack of form during the season, will be looking for a long awaited Grand Tour win in what he described as “last chance saloon” for some riders.
“I’ll find out where I’m at during the Vuelta like a lot of guys,” SBS reports Porte as saying.
“The Vuelta is not the race to ride unless you’re 100 per cent motivated. It’s hard. I last rode the Vuelta in 2012 and I got an absolute kicking,”
“It’s like that last chance saloon; there are guys looking for contracts, guys who are absolutely flying. People said it’s the most relaxed of the Grand Tours, with an organised gruppetto. But I was out the back at 14km into a stage and there was no organised gruppetto.
“I don’t know where my form will be but that’s a nice goal to go to the Vuelta and try to see how it goes.”
The 33-year-old, who is set to move to Trek-Segafredo for 2019 after three years with BMC, is also eyeing a result at the World Championships in September, in both the individual time trial and the difficult climbing course of the road race in Innsbruck-Tirol.
The time trial, a lumpy 54.2km course, should suit those like Porte who thrive against the clock but can also climb. The rode race should be one that sees only the very best climbers and puncheurs contesting the finale, with around 5,000m of climbing over 265km.
“The biggest goal is the Worlds now,” Porte said.
“A couple of days after the crash, it was nice to get a message from Brad McGee, the Aussie national team selector. He put that thought in my head and that motivated me to get my act together to get back before the season is out.”
“I think there are 10 days between the Vuelta and the time trial, so hopefully that’s enough time to get some recovery and check out the courses.
“The time trial is something like 52km, that’s a long one. But I’ll have a go at it. I think the road race course is good for me, it’s not one you often see one so tough like that.”