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Richie Porte remains focused on Tour de France GC alongside Bauke Mollema

Trek-Segafredo's Richie Porte at the 2020 Paris-Nice
Trek-Segafredo's Richie Porte at the 2020 Paris-Nice (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Trek-Segafredo have reiterated that Richie Porte and Bauke Mollema will remain focused on this season's rescheduled Tour de France (August 29-September 20). Monaco-based Porte is now able to train outside once more, and says that "the fire is burning" in readiness for the Tour.

As previously reported, 2020 Trek-Segafredo signing Vincenzo Nibali will remain targeted on winning the Giro d'Italia for the third time in his career, while Porte and Mollema will be co-leaders at the Tour, at which they finished 11th and 28th, respectively, in 2019.

"When the revised calendar was released, it definitely made it easier to get back on the trainer during the lockdown period," Porte said on his team's website. "Now, it's been a week since I've been allowed out on the road, and of course the fire is burning for the Tour de France, but when you miss nine weeks of riding on the road, it's a shock to the system. With cycling being such a goal-driven sport, it's really good to have a calendar that we can now work towards.

"The Tour de France remains my main goal for the season, and it starts with the added bonus of riding on my local roads in Nice," the 35-year-old Australian said. "However, it's definitely going to be uncharted territory racing the Tour in September. I'm not sure how different it will be, though I don't expect it to be as hot as normal and the weather might be a bit more fickle in the mountains."

Porte is one of few professional riders to have tasted victory already during the curtailed 2020 season, winning a stage and the overall classification at the Tour Down Under in Adelaide, Australia, in January. He went on to race at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, and then, once back in Europe, the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var – where Porte took third overall – and Paris-Nice, adding up to 17 days of racing.

"It was a great start to the season for me, personally," said Porte, "but since then it's been such a strange period with no racing and not even being able to get out on the bike.

"The fact that we're going to have some races at the end of the year is good for the sport. The team has been very good at this time, very transparent in keeping us informed about what's happening behind the scenes.  It's finally going to be nice to put some kilometres in on the road and get the season restarted," he said.

According to the team, both Porte and Mollema hope to restart their seasons at French stage race the Tour de l'Ain from August 7-9.

Mollema is looking forward to again sharing leadership with Porte at the Tour, and the Dutchman will then target stage wins at the rescheduled Vuelta a España, which is set to take place from October 21-November 9.

"My  goals for the rest of the season are still more or less the same," Mollema said. "After this break, I'm really looking forward to racing again. Until now it was more about staying fit, but, with the new calendar, we can really start working towards our goals.

"It will be a busy few months, but I really hope we can give the fans a lot to cheer for again," he said.