Team Sky’s late switch of Richie Porte from Paris-Nice to Tirreno-Adriatico, following Chris Froome’s injury, will – according to the Australian – allow him to ride to his strengths on a course on paper much more suited to him than this year’s ‘Race to the Sun’. Froome’s withdrawal has presented Porte with a chance to test himself on the big summit finishes and against the clock, perfect preparation for the Giro and ideally suited to Team Sky’s tactics in this sort of race.
Backed by in-form Ian Stannard, Sir Bradley Wiggins and strong domestiques including Pete Kennaugh, Kanstantin Siutsou, Bernie Eisel and Mikel Nieve, Porte has inherited a team picked to lead Froome to success. Having already secured a big stage victory on the WorldTour this year, atop Old Willunga Hill, and finished second overall at the Ruta del Sol, Porte has the form and the miles to build on an encouraging start to his season. Desperate to prove himself as more than just a super-domestique to Froome and Wiggins, this could be one of his best chances.