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Cadel Evans backing Richie Porte for 2017 Tour de France success

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Cadel Evans (BMC) is currently Australia's sole Tour de France winner

Cadel Evans (BMC) is currently Australia's sole Tour de France winner (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A smiling Cadel Evans

A smiling Cadel Evans (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Cadel Evans (BMC) and Richie Porte (Team Sky) go head-to-head at the Tour Down Under

Cadel Evans (BMC) and Richie Porte (Team Sky) go head-to-head at the Tour Down Under (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Richie Porte (BMC) is hoping to be smiling in July

Richie Porte (BMC) is hoping to be smiling in July (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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de France mechanics - 1.jpg,To avoid injury... Please treat mechanics with respsect,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 2.jpg,Part of being a Tour de France mechanic is the art of improvising when working on the road,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 3.jpg,"Building and maintaining machines is a critical part of the job, but the work isn't done until every bike shines",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 4.jpg,"Some bikes just get fresh tape, tires and chains, but many bikes are built up from scratch for the Tour",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 5.jpg,Team Lotto'Jumbo mechanics use a Tacx trainer wheel block to protect wheels while mounting fresh tubulars,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 6.jpg,Think you could get a tubular on straight the first time? Good luck with that,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 7.jpg,"The Tour de France isn't the first rodeo for most mechanics, nor is it the first race for many bikes in attendance, as old race numbers are clipped off and replaced with new ones",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 8.jpg,"As this year's Tour starts with a time trial, mechanics worked to prep road and TT bikes",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 9.jpg,Sunweb's truck is a tightly organized affair,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 10.jpg,"At only 14km long, the Tour's stage 1 time trial prompted many riders to bust out the big rings - and mechanics to adjust the front derailleurs accordingly",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 11.jpg,Sunweb's Warren Barguil opted for a massive 58t big ring,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 12.jpg,"As teams often do, Sunweb recruited a local rider (in Giro kit) to lead a ride outside of Dusseldorf",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 13.jpg,"With rain in the forecast, Sunweb packed rain bags in the follow car",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 14.jpg,Team riders have a mini buffet of ride food to pull from before short training rides,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 15.jpg,"While titanium bolts are all fine and good, the humble electrical tape sees widespread use among mechanics for things like security race transponders",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 16.jpg,"You have an air compressor in the vehicle you drive to races, too, right?",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 17.jpg,"It might be raining for the stage 1 time trial, but if it's warm, Sunweb soigneurs have ice vests at the ready",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 18.jpg,Every team starts the Tour with a hefty supply of musette bags,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 19.jpg,Thirsty?,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 20.jpg,"Some are water, some are drink mix, but all get a quick towel off so riders have perfectly dry bottles to grab",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 21.jpg,Drink mix Is marked with an 'X' on the bottle,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 22.jpg,New bearings get hammered into Mavic wheels at Cannondale,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 23.jpg,Geoff Brown has been gluing wheels for years,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 24.jpg,Some riders hop on without thought; others give their bikes a close inspection,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 25.jpg,This is one of the more ridiculous cover-ups we have seen,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 26.jpg,Personal air conditioning for time-trial warm-ups? Check,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 27.jpg,There's another way to use a bike workstandÉ,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 28.jpg,Sometimes bike parts need a little forceful encouragement,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 29.jpg,And sometimes a gentle hand is enough,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 30.jpg,"Shimano's Race Support was a near-constant presence around its eight sponsored teams, with vehicles packed full of new product",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 31.jpg,Defending champ Chris Froome has his bikes built and cleaned like everyone else on Team Sky,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 32.jpg,"And Froome's bikes have seen some wear and tear, too",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 33.jpg,"By UCI rule, mechanics can only scoot saddles so far forward. But riders still creep forward on their TT bikes, so a little grip can help keep them anchored on their machines",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 34.jpg,"Because of his ovalized rings, Froome's Bollide TT bike has a unique chain catcher",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 35.jpg,Team cars often get a refresh before the start of the Tour,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 36.jpg,Each rider has a rain bag that goes in the follow car on training days before the Tour,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 37.jpg,"Just like bikes, team busses don't wash and shine themselves",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 38.jpg,Nor does clothing wash itself,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 39.jpg,Team Sky's Mikel Nieve talks with mechanic Ryan Bonser about his handlebar set-up,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 40.jpg,"Two days before the opening time trial, Geraint Thomas puts in an effort on his TT bike",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 41.jpg,"While race numbers are often mounted at the rear brake caliper, BMC's Teammachine SLR01 bikes have a different configuration",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 42.jpg,Here's something you didn't see at the Tour de France 10 years ago: a portable battery for charging a fleet of Shimano Di2 batteries,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 43.jpg,"In addiiton to standard bike tools, Tour mechanics also have precise tools for setting up bikes to riders' fit coordinates",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 44.jpg,You and I may use electronic trainers for Zwift; BMC's Tour riders use them to warm up for the biggest race in the world,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Tour de France mechanics - 45.jpg,"With Richie Porte, BMC is hoping for one more sticker to add to the team car",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
,,

de France mechanics - 1.jpg,To avoid injury... Please treat mechanics with respsect,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 2.jpg,Part of being a Tour de France mechanic is the art of improvising when working on the road,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 3.jpg,"Building and maintaining machines is a critical part of the job, but the work isn't done until every bike shines",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 4.jpg,"Some bikes just get fresh tape, tires and chains, but many bikes are built up from scratch for the Tour",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 5.jpg,Team Lotto'Jumbo mechanics use a Tacx trainer wheel block to protect wheels while mounting fresh tubulars,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 6.jpg,Think you could get a tubular on straight the first time? Good luck with that,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 7.jpg,"The Tour de France isn't the first rodeo for most mechanics, nor is it the first race for many bikes in attendance, as old race numbers are clipped off and replaced with new ones",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 8.jpg,"As this year's Tour starts with a time trial, mechanics worked to prep road and TT bikes",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 9.jpg,Sunweb's truck is a tightly organized affair,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 10.jpg,"At only 14km long, the Tour's stage 1 time trial prompted many riders to bust out the big rings - and mechanics to adjust the front derailleurs accordingly",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 11.jpg,Sunweb's Warren Barguil opted for a massive 58t big ring,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 12.jpg,"As teams often do, Sunweb recruited a local rider (in Giro kit) to lead a ride outside of Dusseldorf",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 13.jpg,"With rain in the forecast, Sunweb packed rain bags in the follow car",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 14.jpg,Team riders have a mini buffet of ride food to pull from before short training rides,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 15.jpg,"While titanium bolts are all fine and good, the humble electrical tape sees widespread use among mechanics for things like security race transponders",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 16.jpg,"You have an air compressor in the vehicle you drive to races, too, right?",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 17.jpg,"It might be raining for the stage 1 time trial, but if it's warm, Sunweb soigneurs have ice vests at the ready",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 18.jpg,Every team starts the Tour with a hefty supply of musette bags,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 19.jpg,Thirsty?,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 20.jpg,"Some are water, some are drink mix, but all get a quick towel off so riders have perfectly dry bottles to grab",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 21.jpg,Drink mix Is marked with an 'X' on the bottle,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 22.jpg,New bearings get hammered into Mavic wheels at Cannondale,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 23.jpg,Geoff Brown has been gluing wheels for years,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 24.jpg,Some riders hop on without thought; others give their bikes a close inspection,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 25.jpg,This is one of the more ridiculous cover-ups we have seen,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 26.jpg,Personal air conditioning for time-trial warm-ups? Check,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 27.jpg,There's another way to use a bike workstandÉ,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 28.jpg,Sometimes bike parts need a little forceful encouragement,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 29.jpg,And sometimes a gentle hand is enough,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 30.jpg,"Shimano's Race Support was a near-constant presence around its eight sponsored teams, with vehicles packed full of new product",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 31.jpg,Defending champ Chris Froome has his bikes built and cleaned like everyone else on Team Sky,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 32.jpg,"And Froome's bikes have seen some wear and tear, too",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 33.jpg,"By UCI rule, mechanics can only scoot saddles so far forward. But riders still creep forward on their TT bikes, so a little grip can help keep them anchored on their machines",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 34.jpg,"Because of his ovalized rings, Froome's Bollide TT bike has a unique chain catcher",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 35.jpg,Team cars often get a refresh before the start of the Tour,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 36.jpg,Each rider has a rain bag that goes in the follow car on training days before the Tour,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 37.jpg,"Just like bikes, team busses don't wash and shine themselves",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 38.jpg,Nor does clothing wash itself,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 39.jpg,Team Sky's Mikel Nieve talks with mechanic Ryan Bonser about his handlebar set-up,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 40.jpg,"Two days before the opening time trial, Geraint Thomas puts in an effort on his TT bike",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 41.jpg,"While race numbers are often mounted at the rear brake caliper, BMC's Teammachine SLR01 bikes have a different configuration",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 42.jpg,Here's something you didn't see at the Tour de France 10 years ago: a portable battery for charging a fleet of Shimano Di2 batteries,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 43.jpg,"In addiiton to standard bike tools, Tour mechanics also have precise tools for setting up bikes to riders' fit coordinates",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 44.jpg,You and I may use electronic trainers for Zwift; BMC's Tour riders use them to warm up for the biggest race in the world,Ben Delaney / Immediate Media Tour de France mechanics - 45.jpg,"With Richie Porte, BMC is hoping for one more sticker to add to the team car",Ben Delaney / Immediate Media ,, (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Richie Porte (BMC) in yellow at the Dauphine

Richie Porte (BMC) in yellow at the Dauphine (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

The 2017 form of Richie Porte has seen the BMC rider firm as a bona fide Tour de France contender and 2011 champion Cadel Evans believes in the yellow jersey chances of his Australian compatriot.

"I don't think the team has ever looked so solid and I think this year Richie has proven himself again. Both Richie and the team around him are looking strong and very solid. I think they have a fantastic opportunity for themselves this July," Evans told Cyclingnews in a phone interview.

In his first outright attempt at racing for the yellow jersey, Porte was fifth overall in Paris last year. He previously rode in Sky's 2012 and 2013 Tour-winning teams, playing an instrumental role on both occasions.

In the lead up to his 2011 Tour victory, Evans won Tirreno-Adriatico, the Tour de Romandie and finished second overall at the Criterium du Dauphine with BMC. In comparison, Porte started his season by winning the Tour Down Under, won a stage at Paris-Nice, before going on to win the Tour de Romandie and also finish second at the Dauphine.

Assessing the first half of Porte's season and preparation for the Tour de France, Evans told Cyclingnews he sees parallels between his Tour winning year and Porte's 2017.

"I think he was quite well prepared at Paris-Nice but there was a little strategic error rather than the fact that he wasn't good enough to get a better result there," he said of the race where Porte's GC hopes were blown away in the crosswinds.

"I think he was performing well also in that period of the year with Paris-Nice and Tirreno, of course, being raced at the same time. My only concern for Richie would be that he spent a lot of energy in Australia in January. But as long as that is carefully managed, then, of course, Richie doesn't go for the Ardennes classics so he saved some energy there. Otherwise, it is looking very solid but most of all I see Richie riding very confidently. As is the team around him."

While Evans' run into the 2011 Tour featured few obstacles, Porte has had to deal with two major setbacks. However, at Paris-Nice he rode away for a final stage win atop Col de la Couillole to salvage his race. Despite being 'assassinated', as Robert Millar wrote for Cyclingnews, on the final Dauphine stage, Porte outclimbed his major rivals and lost the race due to the ten bonus seconds on the line.

Assessing the events of Paris-Nice and the Criterium du Dauphine, Evans explained Porte and BMC would take away just as much as his GC wins in 2017 and will be better prepared for the Tour as a result.

"I think looking toward July they are actually blessings in disguise. Coming second at Dauphine is still a great result, and the lessons learned from Paris-Nice will be important," he said.

Although at the Dauphine three-time Tour champion Chris Froome was far from his impervious best that has seen him claim 12 general classification victories since 2013, Evans expects the three-time winner to be a force in July.

"I suspect Froome is going to make some big improvement between the Dauphine and the Tour. I think Chris will be at another level but certainly for Richie to be in front of those guys is great for his experience and certainly for the team as well to have a dress rehearsal at the Dauphine," said Evans.

Of the favourite general classification riders to win the Tour, Evans states "Froome is still the rider is still the rider to beat". He also namechecked Movistar's Alejandro Valverde as a potential darkhorse and suggested the Spaniard's teammate Nairo Quintana will struggle post-Giro d'Italia.

"I am quite interested in seeing what Valverde does. I know he is not young, but he has a lot of experience and doesn't seem to be fading much with age. So I am interested in seeing what Alejandro does, he is going to have a very good team around him in the mountains which could be crucial in that third week," he said.

"Honestly, I think the guys who come from the Giro are going to be fatigued in the third week and will pay for that at the Tour. If not before."

Porte's final troubles at the Criterium du Dauphine were largely seen to have stemmed from the lack of a strong team. BMC has announced its team in support of Porte at the Tour, naming two riders who were instrumental in Evans' 2011 win. Michael Schar and Amael Moinard.

Although Brent Bookwalter, and Manuel Quinziato from the 2011 squad were not selected for 2017, Evans believes the BMC team can deliver Porte into yellow on July 23.

"They have been there before, they know how to win a Tour, they know how to lose a Tour," Evans said of his former teammates. "There aren't many guys around who know how to win a Tour so to have those guys around you is absolutely key. Hopefully, for Richie, they are an enormous help for him. They are all good friends of mine, so I always hope that they are there and having the best of success for themselves and the team overall."