Team Sky has announced that Richie Porte will not ride the Giro d'Italia and will instead back Chris Froome at Liege-Bastogne-Liege before preparing for the Tour de France by riding the Tour de Romandie and the Criterium du Dauphine.
The British squad has yet to name its Giro d'Italia roster but seems to have lowered its hopes of overall success to safeguard the strength of its team for the Tour de France. Italy's Dario Cataldo or Kanstantsin Siutsou now look likely to lead Team Sky in Italy in May.
"Richie was always going to ride the Tour de France this year but this now means that he can fully focus on being in the best possible shape without having the added challenge of having to ride the Giro as well," Team Sky’s Head of Performance Support, Tim Kerrison, said in a statement on the Team Sky website.
"He played an invaluable role in our Tour wins in 2012 and 2013 and we want him to do the same again this year. We’re always reviewing our line-ups and looking how we can best support our riders and give ourselves the best possible chance for success.”
There was no comment from Porte or information regarding his current health after his withdrawal from Tirreno-Adriatico.
Wiggins to return to the Giro del Trentino
Team Sky revealed Porte's changed objective as part of a series of roster announcements for April. The British team confirmed that Bradley Wiggins will ride Sunday's Paris-Roubaix, with the same team that took part in the Tour of Flanders on Sunday, including Geraint Thomas, Edvald Boasson Hagen and Bernhard Eisel.
Wiggins will replace Porte in Team Sky's line-up for the Giro del Trentino (April 22-25). Also in the team for the four-day Italian stage race are Cataldo, Salvatore Puccio, Philip Deignan, Sebastian Henao, Kanstantsin Siutsou and Chris Sutton.
Wiggins finished fifth in last year's Giro del Trentino after a mechanical problem cost him precious time on the key mountain stage to Condino.
Team Sky is hoping Porte will bounce back from his difficult spring to find the form to help Chris Froome in Liege-Bastogne-Liege line up on Sunday, April 27. Also named for the Team Sky roster for the Doyenne of the Ardennes Classics are Ian Boswell, Nathan Earle, Josh Edmondson, Peter Kennaugh, David Lopez and Danny Pate.