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Cadel Evans: Porte just needs to remain consistent

Former Tour de France winner Cadel Evans believes that his fellow countryman, Richie Porte, can make the podium in this year's race if he remains consistent for three weeks.

Evans won the Tour in 2011 while racing for BMC Racing – Porte's current team – and is now an ambassador for the Swiss-based bike brand. Present at the teams' presentation in Normandy, he picked out the predictable favourites for Tour victory but added that Porte and teammate Tejay van Garderen could compliment each other.

"I think it's interesting. I think that having Tejay and Richie together is good for both of them," he told Cyclingnews.

"While they're the leaders they'll like to play a less prominent role into the third week and that plays into their favour. With Richie, I just hope that he doesn't have one of his bad days that he's had in years gone by. Then he can fight for the podium. He can climb and he can time trial, he just needs to put those together consistently over three weeks. Then he'll be right there."

Porte narrowly missed out on a podium spot at the Criterium du Dauphine earlier this month, while van Garderen game away from the Tour de Suisse with an impressive stage win in the mountains. Before either of BMC Racing's GC cards reach the Tour de France mountains they must survive an opening week that will be full of nerves and most likely crashes.

Evans, during his Tour-winning ride of 2011, was a constant presence at the front of the race during the opening stages, and he advocated a similar approach for Porte and van Garderen. The race starts this Saturday with a stage designed for the sprinters, while stage 2 entertains a climb towards the finishline.

"I think it will be important for them to stay out of trouble but I think that it's important for them on Sunday because there could be a few time gaps and we could see a couple of the GC guys lose some time. That's a chance for Richie and Tejay to reinforce their positions and not lose time. Sunday is a short climb but it could be quite selective so to have numbers will be advantageous. That's how it is for most of the first week, when you've all got to be in the front and so you just move together and work together."

Evans, though, selected Chris Froome as the race favourite, despite adding that the parcours was more suited to last year's runner up, Nairo Quintana.

"I think there's going to be, on a couple of levels, a Tour that's slightly more suited to the climbers. That's more favourable to Nairo Quintana than Chris Froome. I think that Froome is still the number one favourite but then someone like [Romain] Bardet and [Thibaut] Pinot, with the shorter time trials, they'll lose less or minimal time. Then there are always new people coming through so it will be interesting to see how Mikel Landa will do. They could make it into the top 10 as being part of the next generation."

As for racing, Evans added that he does not miss the stress of competition. This year's Tour profile is one that would have suited his skillset, although he added that more time trial kilometres would have been ideal.

"I think I would but it depends on whom I would have to go up against. I would have probably done a bit better with a few more rolling kilometres in the time trial or a team time trial, especially given how my good friends at BMC go in the team time trials. They were always good but now they're the best in the world."

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Daniel Benson
Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.