Porte to lead BMC at Criterium du Dauphine, van Garderen for Tour de Suisse

BMC Racing will split up the team's two general classification leaders for the upcoming WorldTour races, with Australian Richie Porte taking the reins at Critérium du Dauphiné and American Tejay van Garderen heading for Tour de Suisse.

The Dauphiné, which starts June 5 and runs through June 12, will be Porte's first race back in action since illness forced him to abandon Tour de Romandie.

"Since the Tour de Romandie I've put in some really good training blocks at home and with the team at training camp, so I'm ready to put that training to the test at the Critérium du Dauphiné," Porte said. "It's always a tough race and knowing that it will be my last race before the Tour de France, I want to show what I can do."

Team director Valerio Piva backed up Porte's desire to use the race as a final test before the Tour de France begins July 2 in Mont-Saint-Michel.

"Of course you go into any race to win, but the main goal of the Critérium du Dauphiné is for Richie to really test his legs and see where his form is at, as it's one of the biggest tests before the Tour de France," Piva said. "It's a great opportunity to race together as a team, especially for the riders who will be there to support Richie and are hoping to be selected for the Tour de France roster."

Van Garderen has also been out of competition since Tour de Romandie, where he finished 10th overall. He said he'll take extra motivation into the race because the American team's title sponsor is based in Switzerland. The Tour de Suisse starts June 11 with a short individual time trial in Baar and concludes June 19.

"With BMC Switzerland as our title sponsor, it's always motivating when we race in Switzerland as we want to do Andy Rihs proud," he said. "It will be my third Tour de Suisse and a really good opportunity to test myself and after some solid training recently, I'll be able to get those final race days in the legs before the Tour de France."

Team director Fabio Baldato said van Garderen will have the support of Darwin Atapuma and Samuel Sanchez in the mountains.

"Riders like Philippe Gilbert and Silvan Dillier are well-suited to breakaways and stage wins, so we are looking forward to seeing what we can do there," Baladato said.

BMC Racing for Critérium du Dauphiné: Brent Bookwalter , Marcus Burghardt, Damiano Caruso, Rohan Dennis, Ben Hermans, Amaël Moinard, Richie Porte and Greg Van Avermaet.

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