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Tejay van Garderen committed to Richie Porte at the Tour de France

Richie Porte forgets which team he rides for on Stage 10 of the 2016 Tour de France

Often a team leader in his own right, Tejay van Garderen will give his all for Richie Porte's tilt at the Tour de France podium

With 48 wins in 2017 and 22 of them at WorldTour level, BMC Racing had a fantastic 2017 season and are hoping to go from strength to strength in 2018, with one of the team's key goal to get Richie Porte on the podium at the Tour de France.

BMC Racing general manager, Jim Ochowicz, addressed media at the team's annual training camp in Denia, Spain, outlining rider calendars for their 2018 campaign revealing many similarities to 2017.

Greg Van Avermaet will unsurprisingly be looking to replicate his success in the Spring Classics, while Porte will lead the team at the Tour.

Most surprising perhaps is that Tejay van Garderen has been drafted as a super-domestique for Porte. Rohan Dennis will also be given another go at the Giro d'Italia as part of a four year plan to transition into a GC rider.

Along with all of this, the team are focused on topping the WorldTour rankings.

'We need to get on the podium at the Tour,' stated Jim Ochowicz. 'Cadel was our last Tour podium finisher, winning in 2011, and we know how to do it.

'I understand that you need luck and to have the right athletes lining out for you, but we have the right riders and Richie is our guy to get the job done,' he said.

'Richie is a contender, and he'll start at the Tour Down Under, as he did in 2017. He'll start there with Dennis and Simon Gerrans, so we're going there with a team that's focused on the race.

'Three of them have won that race in the past."

Porte emphasised the importance of finishing on the podium at the Tour de France next year, saying 'I could retire a very happy guy if I could get on the podium a the Tour.

'I need to perform there next year. The Tour is the ultimate goal.'

The long-expected confirmation that defending Tour de France champion Chris Froome will ride the Giro d'Italia in 2018 ahead of his attempt to take a record-equalling fifth Tour title came on the day of the Italian race's route announcement.

This decision by his friend and former teammate is, however, having little affect on Porte.

'I will watch him in May and maybe he will be able to do the Giro and come into the tour strong,' Porte said.

'The goal for BMC is the Tour. We will go into it with a great team. Plus with more mountain top finishes, all in all it is a better route for me.'

American rider van Garderen was expected to go on to great things when he came fifth at the 2012 Tour de France, taking the best young rider competition in a year when he was there to support defending champion Cadel Evans.

However, his great promise has been unrealised and the rider has questioned his own capabilities on cycling's biggest stage.

With a stage win at the 2017 Giro d'Italia and 10th overall at the Vuelta a Espana, the 29-year-old is still in the upper tiers of WorldTour cycling.

As such, his commitment to a teammate's ambitions is admirable but not altogether surprising when you consider the potential of a teammate like Porte.

'At the moment the Tour is the focus. Richie is the focus,' van Garderen said.

His role looks set to be similar to that played by Froome for Sir Bradley Wiggins in 2012 and the position Geraint Thomas often fills for Froome.

 'I will be there to support him [Porte] however I am needed. That doesn't mean I will put the breaks on when I see the finish line,' van Garderen clarified.

'The nature of my role is to be there at key moments. I will have less support but it's the Tour. Anything can happen.

'In past years we have spread ourselves thin, but this year we are putting everything into the Tour and will come with all our top riders.

'I’m going in to be Richie's helper. I will wait and see what I’m going to be called on to do in order to get him on the podium.'