Richie Porte and Tejay Van Garderen face first European test at Volta ao Algarve
Feb 11 2018 02:03 pm CET

Richie Porte and Tejay Van Garderen face first European test at Volta ao Algarve
Richie Porte and Tejay Van Garderen face first European test at Volta ao Algarve
Photo of the 2018 BMC Racing Team kit (c) CauldPhoto

Richie Porte and Tejay van Garderen will be leading BMC Racing Team at the upcoming Volta ao Algarve. The riders will also start their European season at the Portuguese race.

The race will have a good balance of summit finishes, flat sprint stages and an individual time trial that could be a good first test for the riders. "It will be nice to return to Volta ao Algarve for the first time since 2012 as it is a good race to gauge the riders' form this early in the season," said Sports Director Fabio Baldato.

"We have a strong team lining up including Richie Porte, who is a former winner, and Tejay van Garderen, who will make his season debut. This will be Richie's first race back after the Australian season and Tejay is coming in from a solid block at altitude. Both riders will be lining up motivated but given their big goals in the spring are Tirreno-Adriatico and Paris-Nice, this is the perfect race to use as preparation and to test their condition."

Although it will be an opportunity to see the capabilities of the leaders at this point of the season, the race will also give a chance to other riders to test themselves and shine. "It is a really demanding race with two summit finishes and a fast, rolling time trial. While Richie and Tejay will want to produce a good time trial, we also have Stefan Küng who showed he is in great shape at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana last week. I think we will already have a good idea of how the race is developing after stage 2 with the summit finish in Fóia and from there we will take things day by day," Baldato added.

Porte, winner of the 2012 edition of the race, will be back at the Volta ao Algarve for the first time since his participation in 2015. "I'm looking forward to getting back to racing and lining up with the team in Portugal. It's still really early in the season and as this is my first race in Europe this year, I'm not going in with any huge expectations," the rider commented.

"My main goal is to get some good race days in my legs and having come from a very hot Australian summer, adjust to racing in the cooler weather again. We have a strong team and different cards to play on the various stages."

Van Garderen is also pleased to come back to a race in which he has finished in the top ten on three occasions. "This winter has been really great preparation-wise," the American affirmed. "I feel like all the boxes have been ticked, and I'm super motivated to start the season strong.

"Richie will be the leader going into the race, but if we are on good form it'll be a lot of fun playing off one another. I've raced this race five times in the past, finishing on the podium once in 2011, so I know what to expect."

BMC Racing Team's Complete Roster for the Volta ao Algarve (14-18 February):

Simon Gerrans
Stefan Küng
Richie Porte
Jürgen Roelandts
Dylan Teuns
Tejay van Garderen
Loïc Vliegen




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