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by Mark Zalewski
December 17, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Hidden motor inventor Varjas claims technological fraud still possible despite UCI checks; BMC Racing Team president Ochowicz ‘very confident’ in Porte’s Tour de France chances; Cookson urges Brailsford to reveal contents of medical package; Five questions for Dave Brailsford; Moreno Hofland on his new team; Edward Theuns calls the 2017 season ‘A rehabilitation year’; Aqua Blue Sport names roster for inaugural race; Androni-Giocattoli gets ProContinental license from UCI, no word on TJ Sport; Video shows Britain’s transport secretary dooring cyclist; Stölting Service Group team folds; NFTO closes after no replacement sponsor found; Japanese cyclocross racer forced to leave Belgium; Top Irish track rider Caroline Ryan retires; UCI Cyclcross World Championships teaser.
Speaking at the team training camp in Denia, Spain, this week, BMC Racing Team President Jim Ochowicz has talked up the chances of Richie Porte for the 2017 Tour de France. Porte was one of the strongest riders in the 2016 edition of the race, although his eventual finishing position of fifth overall was misleading due to time lost because of a puncture on day two. He lost one minute 45 seconds in that mishap; weeks later in Paris, he was just one minute and 12 seconds off second place overall.
Porte was both relaxed and confident about team leadership for the Tour this week, as evident in this interview. Ochowicz too was focussed on the goal and made clear he has faith in the Australian.
“Our objective is to win the Tour with Richie,” he told CyclingTips. “How he rode in this year’s race was a demonstration of his willpower and his ability to be able to deal with a bit of catastrophic circumstances out of his control.” It is that composure under pressure that gives Ochowicz optimism about how 2017 could go.
“Bike racing is different…crashes happen, flat tires are always part of our game. We could see him managing those and not losing confidence in himself, not losing confidence in the team. Carrying on, making time back, coming back, coming back, moving up, moving up was all par for the course for him in the 2016 Tour. There were a couple of other incidents which we all saw live on TV with Froome and Mollema which cost all three of them a bit of chaos and time, but he managed all that well.
“So to me that is a leader. That is somebody who is ready to take on a challenge like the one we are going to take on next July again. We are very confident in him and very confident in the team.”
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