Richie Porte (Trek-Segafedo) hopes to mount a GC bid at the Criterium du Dauphine after hitting his stride at the recent Tour de L'Ain but the Australian is wary of just how strong the competition will be.
Jumbo-Visma and Team Ineos head into the five-day race with stacked teams that include five Grand Tour winners in Primoz Roglic, Tom Dumoulin, Chris Froome, Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas.
Every stage in the race concludes with an uphill or mountain-top finish and Porte arrives at the race is fairly good form. He finished second at the Mont Ventoux Challenge and took six overall at La Route d’Occitanie. He was inconsistent at the
Tour de l’Ain and finished strongly by taking fifth on the final mountain stage.
“Going into the race we’ve done a hard little block of racing,” Porte said on the eve of the Dauphine.
“It’s not been easy, it’s been hot but I think that the Dauphine is always a race that motivates me. I’d of course like to do well.”
Porte’s record in the race is formidable, with a stage win and two second places overall to his name. He finished 11th on GC last year but that result came after a spring campaign that was hampered by injury and illness.
“The second stage finish on the Col de Porte, it would be kind of cool to be able to do something,” he said in relation to stage 2 and the first mountain summit finish of the race.
“Looking at the start list it’s a stacked field, full of absolute talent. It’s like the Tour de France class of field. That makes sense. The Tour de Suisse isn’t on this year so everyone is here. It’s really going to be a good gauge to see where everyone is.
"Obviously GC is the goal but we’re going to take it stage by stage. Everyone here, all the riders are motivated to do a good race and hopefully, we can do that and put in a good fight.”
Porte lines up alongside a strong Trek-Segafredo team that includes Niklas Eg, Kenny Elissonde and the veteran climber Pieter Weening.
The Australian will co-lead the American squad at the Tour de France alongside Bauke Mollema, who is racing in Italy this week and will defend his 2019 victory at Il Lombardia.
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