Porte recharged and relaxed ahead of Romandie defence

Riche Porte (BMC Racing) will look to kick-start his season at the Tour de Romandie this week. The Australian has only picked up one win this season - a stage of the Tour Down Under - and has been short of his usual week-long racing prowess, especially in comparison to last year.

Romandie provides the Australian with a clean slate, and the chance to defend his crown against a strong field that includes Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) and Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo).

This time around Porte lacks the results but he appeared relaxed - confident even - about turning the ship around ahead of July.

"Of course, having flu isn't a blessing but I find myself in a position I've not been in before. Missing those races, and watching the guys at Paris-Nice then get sick, I think mentally I'm a bit more recharged."

The team also arrive in Switzerland looking to put in a performance for their late founder, Andy Rihs, who died earlier this month. The team's long-term future has yet to be decided, and while Tuesday's conference was nor the time nor the place to ask about contractual matters, Porte added that the team would be racing to make their former boss proud.

"Andy would have liked us to just get on with it. He put his own money into cycling, and he never expected praise for it. He just wanted to crack on with things and that's all we can do really. If we can defend the race, and show good BMC fighting spirit, then he would be proud of us."

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Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at Cyclingnews.com 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.