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Van Garderen and Porte join forces for first time at Volta a Catalunya

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Richie Porte gestures as he arrives at the end of the seventh stage of the 74th edition of the Paris-Nice

Richie Porte gestures as he arrives at the end of the seventh stage of the 74th edition of the Paris-Nice
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Tejay van Garderen (BMC)

Tejay van Garderen (BMC)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tejay van Garderen attempts to defend his race lead at Ruta del Sol.

Tejay van Garderen attempts to defend his race lead at Ruta del Sol.
(Image credit: Bettini)
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Richie Porte (BMC)

Richie Porte (BMC)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Tejay van Garderen and Richie Porte will join forces for the first time this season at the Volta a Catalunya. The race starts Monday with a demanding 175.8 kilometre stage from Calella to Calella.

Porte, who signed from Team Sky at the end of last year, has already tasted success for his new team, having won a stage at the Tour Down Under and finishing third at Paris-Nice. He heads into the Volta a Catalunya as the defending champion but will face stiff competition from a stacked list of GC contenders, including Alberto Contador, Rigoberto Uran, Chris Froome and Nairo Quintana.

BMC will be expecting both Porte and van Garderen to shine in the race. The US-registered team signed Porte with the ambition of having two GC riders for stage races.

“Tejay and I have trained together a fair bit so it’s nice to finally be able to race together,” the Australian said of his new partnership with the American rider.

“It’s also a good chance to get some more race days in the legs following Paris-Nice. It’s a race I know well and have obviously had success at so I’m hoping that this year will be no different.”

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Van Garderen recently re-signed with BMC, thus putting to bed any speculation of a move to another team. He too has started the season impressively with a stage and second overall in the Vuelta a Andalucia. He finished 25th in Tirenno-Adriatico but only after the Queen stage in the mountains was cancelled due to poor weather.

“It’s a race that suits me well and we’re going in with a strong  team. I didn’t get the opportunity to really test myself on the  climbs at Tirreno-Adriatico with the cancellation of the queen  stage, so it will be good to do so in Catalunya,” he said.