Disappointment As Porte’s 2017 Tour Comes To An Abrupt End
Richie Porte had no way of knowing that his banged-up knee, as a result of the fall during the 1st slippery Stage of this year’s Tour de France, would prove to be the least of his 2017 Tour woes. After a magnificent climb up Mont du Chat during the 9th Stage on Sunday, and having on several occasions threatened to leave current yellow jersey rider Chris Froome a mere reflection in the Aussie’s rear-view mirror, Porte’s dreams came to a crushing end when he suffered a violent crash coming into a bend at a speed in excess of 70km/h and ultimately losing control of the bike on the slippery road surface.
Porte suffered fractures of his pelvis and shoulder, effectively bringing his participation in the 2017 Tour de France to an abrupt and totally unexpected end. 2017 will not be the first disappointing year for the hopeful Australian – having been within arm’s length of the yellow jersey in 2014, only to be struck down by Pneumonia.
Two years later Porte managed to secure the overall 5th place after having lost all of two minutes as a result of a puncture.
Porte Not The Only Rider To Suffer Bad Fall
Race organisers were sharply criticised by the likes of Irishman Daniel Martin, describing the dangerous final descent as being nothing short of gratuitous. 11 other riders also suffered injuries as a result of falling during the 9th Stage, with Geraint Thomas also counting among the unlucky group. Thomas suffered a broken collarbone, thus also bringing his hopes of a successful Tour to an end.
Chris Froome Beating The Odds
Despite having had to beat extreme odds during the 9th Stage of the 2017 Tour de France, Chris Froome managed to retain the yellow jersey. Froome survived the loss of a teammate as well as mechanical woes, going on to finish in 3rd place and receiving 4 bonus seconds – effectively allowing him to establish his overall lead.
Italian rider Fabio Aru and Aussie Richie Porte showed true sportsmanship and in keeping with the true spirit of the Tour de France, slowed down in order to wait for race leader Froome as soon as his mechanical failure became apparent.
Stage 9 is notorious for being a monster stage – with the consolidated distance of the ascents covering more than half the height of Mount Everest. The descents are nothing short of treacherous, requiring guts of steel and intense concentration.
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