• Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) during Stage 9 of the Tour de France (Getty)Source: Getty
Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) was on good form during Stage 9 of the Tour de France, nearly matching it with the best climbers, finishing just behind new yellow jersey wearer Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma).
SBS Cycling Central

7 Sep 2020 - 2:27 AM  UPDATED 7 Sep 2020 - 2:36 AM

Porte strung together two good days in the Pyrenees, moving up the general classification from 20th to 11th in that time as the field of contenders for yellow in Paris thinned significantly. 

Porte wasn't able to follow the more punchy attacks on the steep final climb of Stage 9, the Col de Marie Blanque, but measured his efforts well and was able to join an elite group of five after Pogačar's initial attack with just over 20 kilometres remaining in the race.

He was dropped as the leaders crested the climb and joined a group of chasers with Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic), Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First), teammate Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and Guillaume Martin (Cofidis).

“Of course I would have liked to have hung onto those guys over the top," said Porte. "It was just over the final couple of hundred metres that I was dropped. I don’t have that explosive power now.

"Bauke did a really nice job to be in that second group. It was a good day, a hard day. For me, it’s always nice to get through Stage 9, and into the rest day fit and healthy."

Porte has had a poor history with past Stages 9, crashing out of the Tour twice in the 2017 and 2018 editions of the race, and falling off the GC standings in 2013 with a very poor day in 2013 when sitting second on the overall standings. 

He shook the hoodoo by combining well with the chase group to almost catch back on with the group of Pogačar and Roglič, finishing just 11 seconds behind the front riders. Porte now sits a minute and 53 seconds off the overall lead of Roglič, in 11th position.

"We cooperated well there, we had to," said Porte of the chase. "It was a strong group in front as well and it was a good day for us.”

The Tour de France continues after the rest day with a pancake flat stage on the western coastline of France from Île d’Oléron to Île de Ré. Watch the action on SBS, with the race starting on the SBS ŠKODA Tour Tracker at 9.20 AEST and the broadcast beginning at 9.30 AEST on SBS VICELAND, switching to SBS HD at 10.30pm.