Things have gone from bad to worse for the Australian hopeful who suffered a two minute penatly for taking a wheel from Orica-GreenEDGE's Simon Clarke on Stage 10. A crash on Stage 13 left Porte nursing a sore knee and hip before he lost four minutes on the Stage 14 time trial.
Despite murmurings that he may withdraw from the race Porte lined up for Stage 15, the first big mountains test of the Italian Grand Tour. He was dropped early on the Passone Daone, eventually finishing in a small group 27min 04sec behind stage winner Mikel Landa (Astana). He nows lies in 27th position, 35min 57sec down.
While Porte was suffering his team-mate König was trying to take time on his rivals at the front of the race.
The Czech rider finished seventh on the stage to move up to fifth overall, 6min 36sec behind race leader Alberto Contador.
“The team said that I should be ready for the responsibility of the GC. I’m up there, so the priority is a little different now," König told Cyclingnews.
With Porte no longer vying for the overall title Team Sky has switched its focus to keeping Konig as high as possible of the general classification, protecting Elia Viviani's sprint jersey and targeting stage victories.
“I’m not far from the podium but I just hope that those two stupid minutes (lost in the crash in Jesolo) won’t make a big difference in Milan," said König. "I think I’m a three-week rider and we’ve done just two for now… I’m quite consistent and this is my level right now. I hope to recover on the rest day a little. I’m really looking forward to the last week because I’m in a good position.”