Porte’s Tour Down Under bombshell
HAVING wrapped up third place in the Tour de Romandie, Richie Porte is faced with the challenge of securing his cycling future.
BMC Racing's Australian star, who finished fifth in the 2016 Tour de France, is unsure which team he will ride for beyond the end of this season.
BMC is one of the world tour's biggest budget teams but is searching for a major sponsor to keep it afloat beyond 2018, after the death of owner and main sponsor Andy Rihs two weeks ago.
Porte, who says he is unlikely to return to Australia for the Tour Down Under next year, has given BMC until this month to find a solution before he considers other options.
"I don't want to lie, it is a little bit stressful," the 33-year-old told Cyclingnews.
"It would be sad to see BMC go. They're a great team and I've had a great couple of years here.
"Now is crunch time."
The Tasmanian rider, who won the TDU in 2017, said although he enjoyed riding in front of Australian fans he was considering a change to his race schedule.
"It's not been great to miss races like Tirreno, Paris and Catalunya, but maybe in hindsight skipping Tour Down Under is a better thing," he said.