Richie Porte’s hopes of Giro d’Italia success have been handed a huge blow after the Team Sky man was handed a two-minute time penalty by race commissaires after stage ten.
Porte punctured with little more than five kilometres of the stage remaining, losing 47 seconds to race leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and second-placed Fabio Aru (Astana).
This is cycling. This is the best sport in the world. #Giro pic.twitter.com/gK4C4YfSg9
— Giro d’Italia (@giroditalia) May 19, 2015
After puncturing, Porte was assisted by fellow Australian Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEDGE), who gave him his wheel and helped to push him back on his way before his Team Sky team-mates rallied him to the finish in a bid to cut their losses.
Clarke was praised for his gesture on social media, including by the Giro d’Italia’s own media team who tweeted a photo of the image with the caption ‘this is cycling’.
But the race commissaires clearly took a different view of the incident, handing both men a two-minute time penalty and fining them CHF200.
Feeling sad for @richie_porte. Tried to help a friend as most would. I’m sorry about the outcome of all this!
— Simon Clarke (@SimoClarke) May 19, 2015
The rule violation was with regard UCI article “12.1.040 / 8.2 Non-regulation assistance to a rider of another team, stage races”, and means Porte is now 12th overall with a deficit of 3’09” to Contador.
Team Sky team-mate Leopold Konig is, as a result, the team’s best-placed rider overall sitting tenth – 39 seconds better off.
If that’s not Aussie mate ship them what is? Punctured and clarkey gave me his front wheel… https://t.co/bu9tf3AhX4
— Richie Porte (@richie_porte) May 19, 2015