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Tour de France: Richie Porte won't work with Chris Froome & Team Sky

Richie Porte, Tour de France 2016
Image: Richie Porte is the bookmakers' fourth favourite for Tour de France victory

BMC Racing rider Richie Porte has denied he will work with Chris Froome and Team Sky to aid their mutual chances of success at the Tour de France.

Porte joined BMC in January after four seasons with Team Sky and remains close friends with most of the British squad.

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He appeared to collaborate with Froome to distance Alberto Contador on a mountain stage at last month's Criterium du Dauphine, but the 31-year-old Australian insists there will be no repeat at the Tour.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of Saturday's first stage in Normandy, Porte said: "Off the bike we're still friends, but on the bike it's important to say we're rivals.

Chris Froome attacks to win stage five of the 2016 Criterium du Dauphine
Image: Chris Froome and Porte worked together on a mountain stage at the Criterium du Dauphine

"It's no different with him than it is with Nairo Quintana or anyone else here. I still want to beat him.

"I'm friends with a lot of those guys [from Team Sky]. In the races earlier this season, one of the guys I've been banging the bars with most was Luke Rowe, who also happens to be one of my best friends.

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"I don't expect favours off those guys and I don't think they expect any favours off me. It's a bike race."

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Porte is the bookmakers' fourth favourite for overall victory at the Tour but must share leadership of BMC with Tejay van Garderen, who finished fifth in both 2012 and 2014.

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Froome says Nairo Quintana will be his main rival at the Tour de France

Porte insists they will start the race as equals and a lone leader will only emerge if and when a significant time gap opens up between them.

He added: "We'll take that decision as the race goes on. For the moment we're both equal leaders. It's all about getting through these first few days without any silly time losses. That's going to show us how the leadership thing works out."

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