Richie Porte to race in Ballarat's national road championships

RELAXED: Richie Porte takes time out to talk. Picture: Scott Gelston.
RELAXED: Richie Porte takes time out to talk. Picture: Scott Gelston.

The stage has been set for Launceston’s own Richie Porte to do battle with the world’s best cyclists this summer in Ballarat.

After being involved in a sickening crash in this year’s Tour De France, the 32-year-old made his competitive return in October and is a confirmed starter for January 3’s national road championships.

Porte, who will ride alongside high-profile BMC teammates Miles Scotson, Rohan Dennis and Simon Gerrans, hoped the competition would provide an opportunity to start the 2018 season in good fashion.

“It will be nice to go into the road race with numbers,” Porte said. 

“With the numbers that we have, four strong guys, I believe we have the guys to do it (win).

“If it’s not me, to have someone of the calibre of Simon come and join the team in 2018, Rohan is always up for a good fight and Miles showed last year he could do it.”

Cycling Australia chief executive Nick Green said the championships would once again deliver the very best cyclists right to Australian fans’ backyards.

“There is no other cycling event in Australia that can boast as many of world‘s best in one place, from the under-19 and (under-23) rising stars, our para-cycling heroes, and the elite,” Green said.

“We encourage all cycling fans to check the schedule so they don’t miss a minute of the action. 

“It truly will be an electrifying festival of cycling.”

The final fields and start lists will be made available later this month, as will broadcast schedule details.