Want to know which Tour de France stages will decide the race?

Want to know which Tour de France stages will decide the race?

"I'm not superstitious enough to have to win the Dauphine to win the Tour", he says.

While Porte has thrived since switching from Sky to BMC at the end of 2015, he told AAP ahead of the Tour that it would be silly not to listen to rival teams given this is a contract year for him.

Three-time victor and reigning champion Chris Froome will be taking part again as a member of Team Sky alongside British teammates Luke Rowe and Geraint Thomas - who has recovered from a shoulder injury sustained in this year's Giro d'Italia to take his place on the start line.

The British team were clearly intent on showing a united front to a public which has grown increasingly sceptical of their methods since the last Tour.

Having taken out the Swiss national time trial championships recently, while a few weeks ago finishing narrowly behind teammate Dennis in both the opening prologue and the final day time trial at the Tour De Suisse, he has a realistic chance of taking the spoils. "He's ready to be up there and we are ready as a team", the Italian said.

“The Tour de France is a special race and it would just be incredible to win it for a fourth time.

"I'm going nowhere", declared the manager.

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I've said for a long time that Richie has got the potential to win the Tour de France, it's just a matter of time until everything works out for him.

Boardman explained: "With six climbs and a double-kick finish (there's a little descent with 5.5km to go) anyone attacking on the penultimate ascent over the Col de Peyresourde will be hard to pull back, particularly if it's wet". The average age for a Tour de France victor is currently 28 years and two months, with Froome now over 32. Falter once, and your position could easily be overtaken by another rider.

"Even when these young guys were coming through and were beating me here and there, I always knew I was still the best", he said.

Last year, Porte fought back strongly to finish fifth after suffering major time losses from a stage two puncture and a later crash with a motorbike. Mark Cavendish won the overall green jersey in the 2011 edition of the Tour.

This unit will consist of two teams, one road-based with the other working in helicopters.

What he's done in the last few years, going from the track, going to the Classics and now focusing more on stage racing, it's wonderful to see how he has evolved and he can literally now do anything he wants.

Other riders to watch out for include former time trial World champion Vasil Kiriyenka, Geriant Thomas and Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky), Jashua Sutterlin and Johnathan Castraviejo (Movistar), Fabio Felline and Matthias Brandle (Trek-Segafredo) and Luke Durbridge (Orica - Scott).

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