Aussie Focus

Porte caught up in mass crash and loses minutes in GC battle

It was a bad day for Richie Porte fans and for INEOS Grenadiers as the Australian lost over two minutes to his major rivals for the general classification (GC) on the opening stage of the 2021 Tour de France.

Two mass crashes in the peloton marred the opener of the Tour de France. The first, with 45 kilometres to go, was caused by a spectator and saw a number of riders, including pre-race GC contenders Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious), Porte and Tao Geoghegan Hart (INEOS Grenadiers), having to make their way back to the front of the race.

Despite forward positioning by the INEOS squad, that allowed them to miss most of the carnage, Porte and Geoghegan Hart were caught up in yet another mass crash, this time seven kilometres left to race. Thomas and Carapaz finished 10th and 22nd respectively in Landerneau, in the chasing group behind lone winner Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep). Geoghegan Hart and Porte weren't so lucky, with Porte finishing two minutes and 16 seconds behind, and Geoghegan Hart finishing over five minutes down on a bruising day for the peloton.

"In the big crash at the end, I had no idea who was in it," said Thomas after the stage. "It ended up with Richie being in it which wasn't great. I was just concentrating on staying on my bike basically. Happy to get through it but gutted about Richie and Tao."

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There no confirmation of the exact condition of Porte or Geoghegan Hart, but the INEOS team said that both were 'ok' at the conclusion of the race.  

The Tour de France continues with Stage 2 a 183.5 kilometre stage from Perros-Guirec to the steep finish atop Mur-de-Bretagne. Watch the action on SBS, the SKODA Tour Tracker and SBS OnDemand from 2030 AEST, with live racing starting from 2100. 


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2 min read
Published 27 June 2021 at 4:47am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS