Talk about adding insult to injury. Richie Porte's Giro d'Italia hopes, already compromised when he was docked two minutes for an illegal wheel change on Tuesday, may well have been damaged terminally by his fall in the finale of stage 13 to Jesolo.
Cruelly, Porte was within sight of the banner marking the final three kilometres – sanctuary for a general classification contender on a wet, flat and fast day like this – when he was brought down by a crash that appeared to have been sparked by a touch of wheels involving Davide Formolo (Cannondale-Garmin).
Porte and a phalanx of Sky teammates were just behind and, perhaps inevitably, given the Tasmanian's luck in this second week of racing, he was the one who fell, damaging his bike in the process.
Porte took a breath and managed to summon up another half-smile. "What's happened? There was a crash," he said. "It's just how it is today. It's wet and nervous. It wasn't really a big surprise there was a crash to be honest."
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