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Richie Porte surrounded by his Team Sky teammates
Team Sky rider happy heading into first rest day
Five days ago Team Sky thought they were waving goodbye to their general classification hopes as their team leader Chris Froome was forced to abandon the Tour de France. However, Richie Porte changed that on La Planche de Belles Filles.
Porte was one of a select few of riders to make it into the front group on the final climb and finished seventh to move himself into second in the general classification.
“I think I was the only one who thought about chasing Vincenzo. Credit to him,” said Porte as he warmed down atop La Planche des Belles Filles. “I think now Nibali has shown that he is the man to beat. His team were good today, they rode quite hard. They lost Scarponi there on that descent but you know in the final it’s a little bit frustrating everybody is sitting on your wheel. I guess that racing. There’s still another ten days to go.”
After starting in beautiful sunshine a familiar scene of clouds descended over the peloton and the rain began to pour. Stage 10 was always going to be one to shake up the general classification but nobody could have expected the fall out. Pre-race favourite Alberto Contador crashed and broke his tibia. Nibali also nearly lost Michele Scarponi to the wet roads as the Italian ran wide on one of the many descents.
“It was a day to stay at the front but even staying at the front wasn’t easy. I hope we’ve left the rain behind,” said Porte. “I think it’s going to be a pretty red hot Vuelta with the way things are going, with Chris and Alberto but it’s never nice to see someone like Alberto crash out and I think it’s going to change the dynamics of the race.”
Ahead of the Tour de France, many had questioned Porte’s form. The Australian had missed much of the first part of the season due to illness and came into the Tour as an unknown quantity. Going into the first rest day of the Tour de France, Porte is 2:23 behind Nibali in the general classification. It is all looking good for Nibali to complete his trio of Grand Tours but Porte knows all to well that it isn’t over until they ride into Paris.
“Obviously Vincenzo is in a great position, but we’ve seen today that things can happen out on the road. We take it day by day. Going into the first rest day, I am quite happy where I am,” said Porte. “I think the race is not over yet.”