Porte agrees BMC Racing extension

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Richie Porte capped his preparation for the 2017 Tour de France by signing a new contract with BMC Racing on Thursday.

Porte swapped Team Sky for BMC ahead of the 2016 season and his new deal will see him remain with the Swiss team beyond the current campaign, although the exact length remains unclear.

After impressing as Chris Froome's trusty lieutenant at Sky, Porte opted to leave the team to become a leader elsewhere and he has performed well in the role with BMC.

He has six top-10 finishes for them in the major races, including fifth in the 2016 Tour and second place in this year's Criterium du Dauphine.

"I have really enjoyed my first two years with BMC Racing Team so it was a natural decision to extend my contract," said the Australian.

"We are on the eve of the biggest race of the year, and my biggest goal of the season, and I feel at home with my team-mates and the management and staff. 

"I have raced with a few teams throughout the years and I definitely think BMC Racing is the right fit at this point in my career as I try to win the Tour de France. I like the atmosphere and the way BMC Racing operates, so I am sure this is where I want to be."

Porte goes into the Tour as one of favourites for the yellow jersey after six race wins in 2017, and he is keen to break his Grand Tour duck.

He added: "I've had a great first half of the season and I think my results are a reflection of the way the team has created a really good training and racing environment for me. 

"Things like having training camps at home in Monaco and building a core group of team-mates around me from the first race of the year in Australia have really helped me.

"Whatever happens over the next three weeks, I'm looking forward to keeping the BMC Racing Team jersey on my back beyond the end of the season."