Porte celebrates making it through stage 9 of Tour de France
Trek-Segafredo leader shows his form with surge on final climb with Bardet
Richie Porte lightheartedly celebrated finishing stage 9 of the Tour de France in Brioude, after crashing out on day 9 of both the 2017 and 2018 Grand Boucle.
Porte celebrated making it through the 170km in the Massif Central of France on social media, writing: 'stage 9 done' a posting a gif of Jack Black making a proud salute. He also showed he was still in the 2019 Tour de France and still an overall contender with a brief showing on the front on the final climb of Cote de Saint-Just.
He followed and then leading enfant du pays Romain Bardet when he opened a gap on the peloton for a moment until Team Ineos closed down the surge and took control of the peloton.
Porte crashed out of the 2017 Tour de France on stage 9 to Chambery in the Alps when he went off the road on a high-speed descent. Last year he fractured his collarbone in a crash before the cobbled sectors include in stage 9 to Roubaix.
Porte seemed happy that several television crews asked him about his brief attack rather than making it through stage 9 but some of his Twitter followers were quick to suggest that his jinx was over and that the Tour de France was all downhill from this point.
"It wasn't easy but we had to try something. It was purely because Bardet went. He's the local guy and so he's probably the guy to follow," Porte said, explaining his moment on the front.
"For sure I feel good. I don't think anyone felt flush after yesterday's stage, it was such a hard one. It's always nice to get a gap even if it came back pretty quickly."
Each time Porte has crashed out of the Tour de France, he has licked his wounds, recovered and returned to take on the Tour de France yet again.
Enduring the highs and lows
Trek-Segafredo has endured some highs and lows so far in this year's race but Porte remains quietly optimistic about his overall chances.
The American team had a poor team time trial on stage 2 and lost 58 seconds to Team Ineos duo Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal and lesser chunks of time to other overall contenders. However, Giulio Ciccone wore the race leader's yellow jersey for two days and Jasper Stuyven has racked up five top-ten finishes in the sprints and via breakaways. Trek-Segafredo also lead the team classification.
After nine stages, Porte is happy to still be in the Tour de France but is 18th overall, 2:19 down on Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep).
"It would have been nice not to lose that time in the team time trial but there's still a long way to go," Porte suggested.
"We're going to have to ride aggressively now. I haven't seen the Pau time trial course but it's a key day for sure. Of course, there's no easy day in Tour, even tomorrow's tenth flat stage is about staying safe."
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Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has been Head of News at Cyclingnews since 2022, before which he held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and CyclingWeekly, among other publications.