Porte can win Le Tour says McEwen – Bike Magazine Australia

Richie Porte will challenge Chris Froome for the Tour de France this year – as long as he avoids any more bad luck.

That’s the view of Australian cycling legend Robbie McEwen ahead of the opening stage of this year’s race in Dusseldorf on Saturday.

Porte has been in great form this season, while three-time Tour champion Froome has been distinctly under par – most notably when being comfortably beaten by the Tasmanian in the Dauphine time trial.

But Australia’s big hope has previously suffered miserable fortune in the biggest races – not least in last year’s Tour de France when he suffered a puncture on stage 2 that lost him nearly two minutes on his main rivals and effectively ruined his race before it had seriously begun.

But McEwen, who will be a main commentator for SBS during this year’s event, said: “At the moment, on performances, you’d have to say that Richie Porte and Chris Froome are almost equal favourites for the Tour.

“Richie is in just fantastic form. It will just be a question of can Richie hold that form, or even improve on it. And how much better can Froome get in this race?

“Rather than Richie having to have some good luck, he just needs to avoid having any bad luck. If it’s just neutral luck then it will be fine,” McEwen added.

“Last year was pretty much a disaster with what happened, but he still finished fifth. And if you take away the time he lost with the puncture then he would have been second overall.

“So I think he will definitely be challenging for the win.”