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Richie Porte ‘petrified’ during wet Tour de France time trial as he loses time to Chris Froome

Cycling Weekly

Porte finishes 35 seconds down on Froome, and 45 seconds behind stage winner Geraint Thomas


Richie Porte (BMC Racing) may have lost time in the opening time trial of the Tour de France, but the Australian was satisfied with his efforts to stay upright on a treacherous course in Düsseldorf.

Porte finished in a time of 16-51 on the 14km stage, 47 seconds behind stage winner Geraint Thomas (Team Sky), and 35 seconds behind main rival Chris Froome (Team Sky).

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“Keeping it rubber side down was the goal today,” Porte said as he warmed down on his turbo trainer after finishing the stage.

“I followed Nicolas Roche in the car before I started and he binned it so I was a little bit petrified to be honest. It was such a slippery course.

“It rattled me a little bit but at the end of the day I took no risks and that was the way to take it today. I’d have liked to have done it in a quicker time but the main thing is to have kept all my skin intact.”

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Despite loosing time to Froome and Thomas, Porte finished ahead of other GC contenders such as Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Fabio Aru (Astana) and Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo).

With BMC Racing also chasing stage success with Stefan Küng, Porte set off around half an hour before the likes of Froome and Quintana, possibly giving him slightly worse conditions than some of his competitors.

The 32-year-old said that this decision had been made the previous day when heavy rain was forecast for the last few riders, but said that the condition of the roads ended up being similar for everyone.

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“When we were back at the hotel it looked like it might have been drier for me, but the roads were the same for everybody so it all worked out fair in the end.”

With more wet weather forecast for the first road stage of the race to Liège on Sunday, Porte will be hoping to continue to stay upright and reach the first summit finish at La Planche des Belle Filles on stage five unscathed.

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