Tasmanian cyclist Richie Porte has ended months of speculation by confirming he will ride for Trek-Segafredo in 2019.
Uncertainty over BMC’s future is believed to have contributed to Porte’s decision to leave his team of three years, with the Swiss-based outfit having only recently confirmed its continuance into next year.
Porte indicated earlier in the year he would give BMC until May to secure its future, however the team was unable to lock in Polish shoe and bag company CCC’s support until mid-July.
The Hadspen 33-year-old announced the move via Trek’s Twitter page late Thursday night, and it is rumoured he could be soon joined on the team’s squad by fellow Tasmanian Will Clarke.
“I’m finally able to confirm that I’ll be joining Trek-Segafredo next season which for me is exciting news,” Porte said.
“I’m really looking forward to joining the team, it’s a great team and I think it’s a great fit.
“I’m just looking forward to getting things started January 1, but at the same time, I must say thankyou to BMC Racing team staff and riders, it’s been a hell of a journey and I’ve enjoyed my last three years.”
The announcement comes two days before Porte begins his comeback from another Tour de France fall in the Vuelta a Espana.
But the new father’s preparation has already been somewhat compromised after he missed BMC’s pre-race team presentation and press conference due to gastrointestinal issues.
BMC Racing team doctor Daniel Zaccaria said the ailment was “nothing too serious” and assured Porte would be fine for the three-week tour of Spain.
“Richie should be able to do a light training session (Friday) and we expect him to be at the start line on Saturday,” Zaccaria said.
“Although this is not ideal two days before the start of the Vuelta a Espana, we are confident that adequate rest will help Richie get back to his pre-race form.”
🇪🇸 #LaVuelta18— BMC Racing Team (@BMCProTeam) August 23, 2018
Unfortunately, some gastrointestinal issues will keep @richie_porte from the @lavuelta press conference and team presentation today but don't worry, he will be at the start line on Saturday.@BMCProTeam doctor, Dr. Daniele Zaccaria explains more 👇. pic.twitter.com/qJz93lPP6l