The 33-year-old, who’ll leave BMC Racing at the end of this year after three seasons with the team, has ridden the event three times before. He rode in 2008, 2009, and for the last time in 2011, when he was forced to pull out on the opening stage while still recovering from having had surgery on a deviated septum the week before.
This time, though, Porte will head to the start on Phillip Island, just south of Melbourne, on January 30 with every intention of taking overall victory.
“If I’m there, I’m there to win it,” Porte told the Herald Sun on Thursday.
“I’ve wanted to do it for years, but it just never really fit, or I was riding for teams that weren’t going to do it,” he said of his absence from the race while riding for the likes of Team Sky and BMC in the interim. “But next year with Trek-Segafredo, it just worked.”
It’s still uncertain whether Porte will ride the Tour Down Under earlier in the month – a race that he won overall in 2017, and where he’s made the famous Old Willunga Hill stage his own, winning it for the past five years in a row.
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