• Richie Porte at the finish in Caminito Del Rey and a punishing Stage 2 of La Vuelta a Espana (Getty)Source: Getty
A combination of sweltering heat and the pace set by Movistar and Sky - with a side of pre-race stomach issues - saw Richie Porte drop out of contention for the Vuelta overall classification, along with team mate Rohan Dennis.
Cycling Central

BMC Pro Team
27 Aug 2018 - 8:29 AM  UPDATED 27 Aug 2018 - 8:50 AM

Porte lost contact after the race split with around 20 kilometres to race, finishing the day 13 minutes and 31 seconds behind stage victor Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), his overall deficit to new race leader Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) now 14 minutes and 22 seconds. 

But the BMC rider said he never considered himself a favourite for the overall general classification.

"I'm not disappointed," Porte said. "I never said coming into this race I was after the GC."

And he is right - in none of the pre-Vuelta chatter did he talk up his chances. 

"The team said we would take it day by day as it’s not been a good run in from me. If you crash out of the Tour de France, you’re not straight back on your bike. 

"Yesterday was a great day for the team and we had Rohan in the red jersey today which was great but for me personally, I knew I wasn’t going to have a great day today from the get-go.

"It was a tough stage for everyone I think and when you see guys lighting it up like the Spanish guys did, it’s never going to be easy. They definitely made the race hard today but we have to keep looking forward though and will see what happens as the race develops.”

"I'm not disappointed," Porte said. "I never said coming into this race I was after the GC."

Overnight race leader Rohan Dennis also found the stage tough going, crossing the line with his compatriot and BMC team mate. Dennis sits 13 minutes and 31 seconds behind Kwiatkowski. 

“At the start, I didn’t feel too bad and we were riding pretty solidly," Dennis said. "But, about two hours in, I really started to suffer and even sitting on the wheel I wasn’t feeling great. I lasted for as long as possible and I was planning on trying to help at the end if I was needed but I just had nothing left in the tank.”

“I think the wind played a big part in today’s stage and the roads were never straight or flowing so, you never got to sit in the peloton. You were always chasing or in single file going around a corner. The altitude gain wasn’t that bad but I think the terrain was the real difficulty today.”

Sagan also sapped 

The world champion also sweltered, crossing the line in the same group as Porte and Dennis. 

"I'm on the right track to get my form where it should be and I'm improving every day," he said. "But, I still need more time to recover from the crash at the Tour de France. I gave my best today, just like I do every time I race."

Movistar v Sky: Valverde battles Kwiatkowski for Vuelta stage honours
Movistar and Sky battled for supremacy on Stage 2 of La Vuelta a España, culminating in a two-up sprint finish between Alejandro Valverde and Michal Kwiatkowski.