• Richie Porte struggled and then lost his place at Paris-Nice. (Getty)Source: Getty
The lightweight general classification riders were always going to get hammered on Stage 2 of Paris-Nice, some would struggle through and manage the conditions but Richie Porte was not among them.
By
Cycling Central

7 Mar 2017 - 8:42 AM  UPDATED 7 Mar 2017 - 9:10 AM

Porte was with the leading group after the first split but he lost his fight with the conditions when it split again, and despite full team support, the race slipped from his grasp.

His cumulative time loss over the first two days of racing slots him into 35th place overall and his efforts will now focus on testing his Tour de France form in the 14.4km time trial and mountains to come.

“I was in the first group when the peloton split," Porte said. "Fran Ventoso and Danilo Wyss were there with me and were great, shepherding me. We really missed a guy like Michael Schär in conditions like that.

The 1.96 metre Schär, who is a powerful figure and key workhorse for Porte, crashed out during the drama-filled opening stage, fracturing a hip and collarbone and will be lost to BMC for up to four weeks.

"I know I’m in good form," Porte said. "It’s not my kind of racing but I don’t want to make excuses as to why I dropped. At the end of the day, I think we can learn more from a day like that than we do winning.

"It was a tough day for everyone, the whole peloton. I don’t think anyone will forget that one in a while.

"No one is more disappointed than me, but I think I can repay my teammates later in the week with the time trial and other stages by going for the win there.”

Porte's Paris-Nice hopes blown away as Colbrelli shines
Richie Porte's overall hopes were cruelled by the classics like conditions as Sonny Colbrelli won the second stage of the week-long Paris-Nice.

CONTRASTING DAY FOR CONTADOR

Two-time winner Paris-Nice Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) also struggled but used his team resources, experience and renowned toughness to limit any possible damage to his chances.

"It has been an infernal day from the first moment, and everything was cut into a thousand groups," Contador said. "There have been some incredible nervous moments again.

"I was well placed, but lost contact and fell back to a group behind. The team worked very well, several teammates came from behind, and they made a high pace, and we were able to catch the group ahead.

"We saved the day without problems, but it was a pity that in the end, we could not achieve the victory with John (Degenkolb). We must be happy because we saved a day of great danger with all the wind, cold and rain.

"It has been a day that we'll remember for a long time. The important thing now is to recover. We shall continue to take it day by day and see what can be done when my terrain arrives."