Porte wants Ewan at the Tour de France

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    Richie Porte hopes he and Caleb Ewan will light up this year’s Tour de France.

    Porte takes a commanding 48-second overall lead into Sunday’s last stage of the Tour Down Under.

    He and Ewan have dominated the race – Porte has won the two stages with summit finishes and Caleb has taken out the other three that have ended in bunch sprints.

    Ewan is the hot tip to make it four in Sunday’s 90km Adelaide street race.

    “I tip my hat to Caleb Ewan, he’s a massive, massive talent,” Porte said.

    “Australia needs to get behind him, he’s the next Robbie McEwen.

    “He’s amazing, I’d love to see him at the Tour this year.

    “He’ll win three or four stages this year if he’s there.”

    But Porte and Australian cycling will probably have to wait at least until next year to see Ewan at the Tour de France.

    Orica-Scott have been careful with the 22-year-old’s development and his more likely Grand Tour this year will be a return to the Giro d’Italia.

    A Tour de France podium finish is Porte’s main aim this year and his Tour Down Under form shows he has started the year on target.

    Porte shredded his rivals with an outstanding attack at Paracombe at the end of stage two.

    He repeated the dose on Saturday as he won at Willunga for the fourth year in a row and only a disaster will stop the BMC leader winning the race for the first time.

    While Porte looks unbeatable and Colombian Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott) is likely to retain second spot overall, Australians Nathan Haas (Dimension Data) and Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe) are still battling for the last place on the Tour podium.

    Haas is third overall after his outstanding second place at Willunga and leads McCarthy by just three seconds.

    McCarthy’s chances of improving on his fourth overall last year were cruelled when he clipped the wheel of another rider on the final Willunga climb.

    That forced him to unclip from a pedal, robbing him of momentum at a critical moment near the finish.

    © AAP 2017

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