As Porte took centre stage at his pre-race press conference in Dusseldorf on Thursday, Evans watched on from the back of the auditorium. As the only Australian – and the only BMC rider – to ever win the Tour de France, his take on his countryman’s chances were one of the most sought after opinions once Porte and his teammates brought the curtain down on their event.
The first question Evans faced was how he would take on three-time winner Chris Froome, who heads into the Tour on the back of a less-than-convincing season. The Team Sky rider finished fourth in the recent Criterium du Dauphine with Porte outclassing him in both the time trial and in the mountains.
“First you’ve got to get to the mountains and the places where you can take him on. I would concentrate on that first, but Chris is the man to beat in this year’s Tour and he’s proven that with his results that he’s the best Grand Tour rider of this generation or certainly over the last four years,” Evans opened with.
Despite Froome’s experience, the reality is that he has not won a race during this calendar year. Porte, on the other hand, has won the Tour Down Under, the Tour de Romandie and taken a stage and second overall at the Dauphine. Even Froome has anointed Porte as the Tour favourite, and while Evans went on to win the Tour at the ripe age of 34 he did open the debate as to whether Froome’s powers, at the age of 32, were beginning to wane.
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