Tour de France: Richie Porte says disastrous day was down to struggling in the heat
By Matt Westby. Last Updated: 18/07/14 6:33pm
Richie Porte was dropped with 12.5km of the final climb remaining
Richie Porte cited a failure to deal with the hot conditions as the reason behind his heavy time losses on stage 13 of the Tour de France.
On a day played out in temperatures of over 30C, the Team Sky leader finished 8min 48sec down on stage winner and race leader Vincenzo Nibali after being dropped early on the climb to the summit finish at Chamrousse
The result sees him plummet from second overall and 2min 23sec behind Nibali to 16th and 11min 11sec down, effectively ending his hopes of a place on the podium in Paris.
The 29-year-old Australian was in a resigned mood after the stage, but hinted he would not throw the towel in on the race just yet.
'Feel for my team-mates'
“I don’t think I dealt with the heat very well,” he said. “It’s one of those things. It’s a massive shame, but we will see what happens tomorrow.
“I feel more for my team-mates, who have been brilliant for me every day. If it happens to me, it can happen to other guys too. We will just keep on pushing.”
Porte took over as Team Sky leader after close friend and defending champion Chris Froome crashed out of the race on stage five.
"Richie Is disappointed and when you are disappointed, it's not the time to start analysing."
Sir Dave Brailsford
Having moved up to second overall on stage ten, he had been looking forward to the race reaching the Alps on stage 13, where the long and consistent gradients of the climbs suit his style.
With those hopes having unravelled, Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford, who was looking to win the Tour for the third year in succession, said the squad would now readjust its priorities for the remainder of the race.
"Obviously it was a blow losing Chris [Froome] when you come here to win the race," he said. "Then we recalibrated to our plan B, as it were, and now we have to recalibrate again.
"You have got to take account of the situation, not get too downbeat. There Is a lot of racing to go. Let's see how the next few days go.
"We have to try to animate the race as much as we can and go from there. Richie Is disappointed and when you are disappointed, it's not the time to start analysing."