Porte to Return to Racing at Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco31. March 2018, Santa Rosa, California (USA) — Road Team
Richie Porte will head to the start line for the first time since Volta ao Algarve next week when he joins a strong and motivated BMC Racing Team line-up at Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco (2 - 7 April).
BMC Racing Team will be looking to target both stage wins and the General Classification in Spain, Sports Director Valerio Piva said.
“This will be Richie's first race back and although he feels good, we don't want to give him the immediate responsibility of going for the GC. Of course, we know Richie and maybe he can do something during the week but we will take it day by day. Instead, Damiano Caruso will be our leader for the General Classification. We know that his condition is there especially after he finished second at Tirreno-Adriatico and I think that if we take the right opportunities, he can do another good job here."
"Overall, we have a strong team with the majority of our riders going onto the Ardennes Classics. This will be a good opportunity for them and everyone will get the chance to try and go for a stage win. We want to see the riders try to take opportunities and jump in the breakaway or be there in the final. I think we have the right team to try to do that and then following on from there we will look to put Damiano in the right position to come out with a good GC,” Piva explained.
Porte is looking forward to getting back into the swing of racing at the six-day UCI WorldTour stage race.
“I am not going in with any expectations or putting too much pressure on myself. For me, this race will be more about testing my form and getting back into the race rhythm than anything else,” Porte explained.
After finishing second overall at Tirreno-Adriatico, Caruso is looking forward to testing his form in the General Classification battle at Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco.
“This is one of the hardest stage races of the season, so it is going to be really difficult. However, I think my condition is good and after my result at Tirreno-Adriatico, I would like to keep this trend going and try to go for the GC. The philosophy will be the same as it was in Italy. I am going into the race without any stress and we will take it day by day and see what opportunities come up. Tirreno-Adriatico was confirmation of what I can do, so I'm feeling confident and I think I can do another good performance here,” Caruso said.
Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco (2 - 7 April)
Rider Roster: Patrick Bevin (NZL), Damiano Caruso (ITA), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Simon Gerrans (AUS), Richie Porte (AUS), Dylan Teuns (BEL), Danilo Wyss (SUI)
Sports Directors: Valerio Piva (ITA), Jackson Stewart (USA)