BMC have built their 2017 Tour de France team around Richie Porte, with the aim of putting the Australian on the final podium, their director Fabio Baldato said on Thursday.

“He is our top priority,” Baldato said of the man who came sixth last year, won the Tour of Romandie last month and came close to winning the Criterium du Dauphine two weeks ago.

Porte will be aided in the mountains in his bid to win, or at least finish in the top three, by Irishman Nicolas Roche and Italian climber Damiano Caruso.

In the low mountains, France’s Amael Moinard and breakaway specialist Alessandro De Marchi will target stage wins.

Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet won Tour stages in each of the past two years and this edition is loaded with just the type of rolling terrain he thrives on.

BMC also feel Stefan Kueng can win the opening 14km time trial around Dusseldorf.

That first stage in Germany is on July 1, with the race concluding in Paris on July 23.

BMC team for the Tour de France: 

Richie Porte (AUS), Damiano Caruso (ITA), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Stefan Kueng (SUI), Amael Moinard (FRA), Nicolas Roche (IRL), Michael Schaer (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Danilo Wyss (SUI)

Agence France-Presse

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