Tour de France: Richie Porte keen to survive rolling stages and reach high mountains

By Matt Westby.   Last Updated: 17/07/14 11:57am

  • Share:
Richie Porte is keen to get into the Alps this weekend

Richie Porte is keen to get into the Alps this weekend

Sky Bet

Team Sky leader Richie Porte has admitted he is looking forward to getting to the high mountains this weekend after surviving a late scare on a rolling 11th stage of the Tour de France.

Sky Tickets Exclusive Offer

Huge discounts on tickets for the final stage of the Tour de France - save up to £70.
Click here for further details

Porte found himself cut adrift from his rivals for overall victory on the descent from the final climb of Wednesday’s stage and although he was able to regain contact and avoid losing time, it made for a stressful finale.

Thursday’s 185.5km 12th stage from Bourg-en-Bresse to Saint-Etienne follows a similar profile, with four small climbs - including two inside the last 50km - carrying further potential for gaps between the race favourites.

Porte, who lies second in the general classification, 2min 23sec behind race lead Vincenzo Nibali, is keen to get through it unscathed and reach Friday and Saturday's mountainous days in the Alps with his podium position intact.

'Dangerous'

“The thing with these stages is, it’s always dangerous,” he said. “There was a bit of a gap there in the descent and I got stuck chasing it, but Geraint Thomas was really good there. He came back and pulled it back together.

“The gaps happened in front of me and I had to chase, but it’s good to get that one done and hopefully I can get through tomorrow nice and quick, and then on to the Alps on Friday.

“We are ticking it off day by day. We just want to get through these stages as best we can and then look forward to the mountains.”

"It was the first day this Tour where we really experienced heat as well. That definitely added to the stress."
Geraint Thomas

Thomas was also relieved to maintain Porte’s position on an 11th stage that he had expected to be far less fraught.

'Racing hard'

The route appeared suited to a breakaway winner, but with several teams in the peloton keen on a stage victory, the anticipated quiet day in the main bunch did not materialise.

“We thought it would be a day for the breakaway and see 10 or 15 guys go up the road and then the bunch roll in about five or six minutes down, but it turned into a really hard day,” the Welshman said.

“We were racing hard over the last 50km. Garmin-Sharp really put the hammer down on that first climb, and it was the first day this Tour where we really experienced heat as well. That definitely added to the stress, but we are all in the same boat.

“We are happy that we are the same as this morning and it will be the same again tomorrow hopefully.”

  • Share:

Related

Tour de France 2014

Vincenzo Nibali completed overall Tour de France victory by safely arriving in Paris on Sunday

TDF review

We look back on the Tour de France, picking out key moments and assessing the lessons learnt.

Vincenzo Nibali completed overall Tour de France victory by safely arriving in Paris on Sunday

TDF review

We look back on the Tour de France, picking out key moments and assessing the lessons learnt.

Vincenzo Nibali said standing on the top step of the podium was a 'huge honour'

Nibali inspired by 2012 defeat

Vincenzo Nibali said losing to Bradley Wiggins at the 2012 Tour helped inspire him to victory in 2014.

Most Popular

Features

New direction

New direction

In the latest instalment of her blog, Joanna Rowsell explains why she has changed teams.

Riders to watch

Riders to watch

We pick out the GC contenders, sprinters and Britons to keep an eye on at the Tour of Britain.

Tour of Britain guide

Tour of Britain guide

Preview of the 11th edition of the Tour of Britain, where Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish are in action.