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"I felt good today but it’s not great to be towing everybody to the line. If Vincenzo goes I guess you have to respond. He’s got enough time already so I didn't really want him to get any more."

Photo: A.S.O.










14.07.2014 @ 20:55 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

When Vincenzo Nibali attacked in the finale of today's Tour de France stage, only Richie Porte showed any will to try to bring him back. Despite moving into second in the overall standings, the Australian was slightly frustrated not having received any help.


Richie Porte dug deep to move up to second place overall following stage 10 of the Tour de France, and a summit finish showdown on La Planche des Belles Filles.


The Tasmanian came to the fore on the last of the day’s seven categorised climbs and was forced to chase as Vincenzo Nibali accelerated on the steep closing ramps.


Crossing the line in seventh place, 25 seconds back on his rival, Porte elevated himself to an impressive second overall after towing a group of contenders back towards the rampant Italian.


Nibali recaptured the maillot jaune with an assured stage win and leads by two minutes and 23 seconds heading into the first rest day.


Porte had the backing of his Team Sky team-mates across a relentless climbing parcours and was closely followed across the line by Mikel Nieve. The Basque climber was 10th on the stage with Geraint Thomas also finishing just off the lead group despite a crash descending off the Col de Chevrères.


After the stage Porte told ITV4: "I was the only one who responded when Nibali went, but I guess that’s racing. I felt good today but it’s not great to be towing everybody to the line. If Vincenzo goes I guess you have to respond. He’s got enough time already so I didn't really want him to get any more."


The race received another shock abandonment on Bastille Day after Alberto Contador crashed at the foot of the Col du Platzerwasel with just under 100km to go. The Spaniard injured his knee in the fall, and despite remounting and continuing with the support of his Tinkoff-Saxo team-mates, was forced to abandon further up the climb.


On the loss of another of the race favourites Porte added: "It’s a shame to lose Alberto like that. I hope he’s okay. It’s going to definitely change the dynamics of the race. It would have been a harder finale if Tinkoff-Saxo had've been there. We'll take it day by day and I think we're in a pretty good position going into the first rest day."


Thomas was happy to cross the line despite a third crash in as many stages. Describing the spill on a tight left-hander the Welshman admitted: "It was one of those things. I should've started braking sooner to give myself a gap going into the corner, but I didn't do it that time and I wasn’t slowing down. There was a bit of water on my brakes, and if anything, it actually felt like I was speeding up. It's a horrible feeling but I'm fine and I slowed down enough to take a tumble but not deck out too hard.


"Richie looked strong. He was fighting for the wheel and was motivated. All we said to him at the bottom was to get stuck in and go as deep as he could and see where he ended up. Obviously, being the leader in Team Sky brings with it a certain pressure, but we didn't put any on him within the team and we're happy to ride and get stuck in for him. Whatever will be will be."


After a strong performance Nieve also told Eurosport: "Today we worked very hard for Richie but Nibali was really strong at the end. Richie did well though, we tried to keep him in a good position for the last climb and he did that. He needs some rest now though, we all do, and then once the race resumes we'll have to work hard and see what happens in the Alps."



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