• Richie Porte finishes in the bunch, but should he have been celebrating a stage victory? (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Richie Porte sacrificed a potentially stage-winning position on Stage 17 of the Tour de France to safeguard race leader Chris Froome - but was it the right call?
By
Cycling Central

23 Jul 2015 - 7:58 AM  UPDATED 23 Jul 2015 - 10:07 AM

Porte was one of 28 riders that made it into the break of the day, which rapidly built a significant lead. As one of the strongest climbers in the breakaway, Porte looked like he had the perfect opportunity to take his maiden Tour stage, until he was told to sit up and wait for Team Sky leader Chris Froome over the summit of the Col d'Allons.

However, the plan backfired when Porte was held up behind Alberto Contador's crash, meaning Froome was isolated on the final climb to Pra Loup.

Team Sky hadn't planned to put Porte in the break in the first place, but the Australian admitted it was frustrating to give up a potentially race-winning position.

"It was a bit disappointing to sit up and not be able to help out as I was stuck behind Alberto when he crashed." a clearly frustrated Porte said after the stage.

"At the end of the day, I knew what the plan was, and that is to win the race with Chris. To be honest it is a little bit disappointing."

Porte added that he nearly crashed with Contador himself, and was only saved from going down by Contador stopping Porte with his hand.

Contador crash leaves strategy and knicks in tatters
Alberto Contador’s Tour de France is as good as over after a crash during an action-packed Stage 17 left him a further 2min 14sec behind in the race for the yellow jersey.
Froome vs Quintana: contenders trade blows on Pra Loup
Stage 17 saw the challengers for the Tour de France's yellow jersey whittled down to just two likely contenders: Chris Froome and Nairo Quintana.

Froome also expressed his frustration over Porte sacrificing his personal ambitions.

"Obviously I have a massive thank you to give to Richie," Froome said. "He could have potentially gone on and won the stage. He was the strongest in that front group.

"But at that stage we were starting to run out of guys at the top of Col d'Allos and we made the call to ask Richie to sit up and help keep me safe in those last few kilometres. I think he ended up helping Geraint Thomas a lot more."

Froome hinted that we may not have seen the end of Porte's aggression.

"Richie's feeling really good and we'll see a lot more from him these next few days." he said with a knowing grin.

Did Team Sky make the right decision in telling Porte to sit up?
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