Team Sky has confirmed to Cyclingnews that Richie Porte will continue the Giro d’Italia, despite indicating that he could quit to focus on the Tour de France. According to the team, Porte - who is now the second Sky rider in the overall classification after Leopold König - will take the start of stage 15 from Marostica to Madonna di Campiglio.
During the time trial, Porte suffered with a knee injury he sustained in the crash on stage 13 and saw himself drop to 8:52 behind the maglia rosa, Alberto Contador. Prior to the stage, there had been some home that Porte could still salvage his overall challenge but it quickly became apparent that it wasn’t going to happen when he had lost almost two minutes at the first time check. After yet another blow, the Australian was downbeat and hinted that he might be heading home.
"I'm not sure what's going to happen now. I'm in a fair amount of pain. I landed on my hip and knee,” Porte told the Sydney Morning Herald after the stage. "I'll have a talk with the team physio, Dave [Brailsford] and Tim [Kerrison], but in some ways it might make sense and get out of here and look forward to the Tour. It's massively disappointing, but after Friday, I was gutted. I was on the massage table, things just sinking in. I don't think I did anything wrong, I've just been unlucky."
Porte has had a tumultuous Giro d’Italia so far. A puncture on stage 10 resulted in a 47-second loss to the other overall contenders, which would have been manageable had he not been handed a two-minute penalty for taking a wheel from Orica-GreenEdge’s Simon Clarke. Stage 13 was another unlucky day for the Australian when he came down in a crash just 3.2 kilometres from the finish. He had to finish the stage on Kiryienka’s bike and lost a further two minutes in the overall classification.
Following the time trial, König is now Team Sky’s best placed rider in the general classification at 5:35 behind but it’s unclear whether the team will now back him or start searching for more stage victories instead.
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