Volta ao Algarve race organisers have confirmed 2012 champion Richie Porte will return to the 2.HC race next month with his BMC team. The Australian was second at the Tour Down Under last week with the Volta ao Algarve to be his first European race since crashing out of the 2017 Tour de France.
Along with his 2012 victory, Porte also won a stage in 2015 but has not returned to the race since with Paris-Nice becoming his preferred European season opener. However, in 2018 Porte is changing his calendar, swapping Paris-Nice for Tirreno-Adriatico, and the Criterium du Dauphine for the Tour de Suisse as he targets the Tour de France.
BMC will also send Tejay van Garderen, who impressed on GC in previous appearances, and Dylan Teuns as options for the overall. Stefan Kung is also selected and will be a favourite for the time trial.Belgian Loic Vliegen and new signings Simon Gerrans and Jurgen Roelandts will complete the squad.
The organisers have also confirmed Trek-Segafredo's team for the race with Dutchman Bauke Mollema its designated leader. Trek-Segafredo's classics trio John Degenkolb, Jasper Stuyven and Gregory Rast also line out for the race but are likely to fine-tuning condition than targeting top form and victory. Rúben Guerreiro will complete his Australian trio of races before heading to his home race as the national champion with Austrian Matthias Brändle and time triallist specialist Ryan Mullen to complete the squad,
The 2018 Volta ao Algarve takes place 14-18 February starting with a stage from Albufeira to Lagos. The stage 3 time trial in Lagoa and final will be key to the overall with the fifth stage likely to determine the final victor.
BMC Racing for 2018 Volta ao Algarve: Richie Porte, Simon Gerrans, Jurgen Roelandts, Stefan Kung, Dylan Teuns, Tejay van Garderen, Loic Vliegen
Trek-Segafredo for 2018 Volta ao Algarve: Bauke Mollema, Ryan Mullens, Rúben Guerreiro, Matthias Brändle, John Degenkolb, Jasper Stuyven and Gregory Rast
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