Porte's pink jersey dream ends in Asolo

Tasmanian to focus on defending white jersey

Rookie Richie Porte (Saxo Bank) has had the pink jersey for three days at the Giro d'Italia but his dream has ended today in Asolo as David Arroyo (Caisse d'Epargne), second place at the start of the day, took over the race lead. The 25-year-old Tasmanian is now only 39 seconds down on general classification but he knows he won't get back in the maglia rosa. However, Porte remains the leader in the best young rider classification.

Climbing over the Monte Grappa, Porte quickly realised he wouldn't be able to accompany the favourites of the Giro d'Italia when the Liquigas-Doimo team started to make the race difficult. Porte did his best to minimize the deficit, though, with the help of several Saxo Bank teammates. "The team was incredible today," Porte said at the finish line. "I can't believe they sacrificed their own race for me."

Porte wasn't disappointed about losing the pink jersey. "I've lost it but I'm content," he said. "Three days in pink are much more than what I could have imagined. I'm a happy man.

"I guess I'm back to my initial goal, which is the white jersey," Porte said. "Robert Kiserlovski [Liquigas-Doimo] is probably my number one rival. He was chasing behind his own teammates, it means he wants to be the best young rider. It's a funny game."

Kiserlovski is 1:56 behind Porte on GC but it will also be interesting to follow the progress of Dutch climbing sensation Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) in the coming mountains where steep hills will make huge differences, starting with the Zoncolan on tomorrow's stage 15.


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