Nicolas Roche has been chosen by his team BMC Racing to support team leader Richie Porte in the Tour de France which begins in Dusseldorf, Germany, on Saturday.
Sports Director Fabio Baldato said a strong team has been assembled to support Porte from Dusseldorf through to Paris. The Italian spoke of the importance of Roche’s role in the Tour as he expects both the Irishman and Damiano Caruso to support team leader Porte into the high mountains:
“To have Richie Porte on the podium at the Tour de France would be a great result. Of course, we are lining up to win the race, to win the yellow jersey. We are going all in for Richie. We expect Damiano Caruso and Nicolas Roche to be the last two teammates with Richie in the big mountains.”
Alessandro De Marchi and Amaël Moinard will be crucial before and between the medium mountains. For the flat stages when the race is fast and difficult, the team has chosen rouleurs Stefan Küng, Michael Schär, Greg Van Avermaet and Danilo Wyss.
In stating that BMC’s absolute priority is the General Classification with Richie Porte, Baldato mentioned that in Greg Van Avermaet they have the Olympic champion, two-time Tour de France stage winner and wearer of the yellow jersey in 2016, so he could possibly win another stage when the conditions are right and Richie Porte is safe.
Nicolas Roche’s team leader Richie Porte is confident after recording one of the best seasons of his career in the lead up to the Tour de France, including victory at the Santos Tour Down Under, Tour de Romandie and second place at the Critérium du Dauphiné:
“The Tour de France is the big goal of the season and it has been a great season so far. I can definitely take confidence from my races and I feel like I’m where I need to be knowing that July is when I need to perform. BMC Racing Team has put a great team together around Greg Van Avermaet and me. I think we have strength in all of the areas needed.”
“I am definitely a mix of excited and nervous. You can’t deny that the Tour de France is the biggest goal of the season, but that means it’s also another level of stress. It’s a balance of being well-prepared and fresh enough to race at the highest level across 21 stages, but I feel like I’m in that position now. I’m just really looking forward to rolling out for the time trial next Saturday in Dusseldorf and then having a good three weeks of racing until we reach Paris” Porte explained.
BMC Racing team: Damiano Caruso (ITA), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Stefan Küng (SUI), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Richie Porte (AUS), Nicolas Roche (IRL), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Danilo Wyss (SUI).
The 2017 Tour de France runs from 1-23 July with daily TV coverage on TG4 and Eurosport.