Twitter reacts to Richie Porte being given a two minute time penalty after swapping wheels with Orica-GreenEdge rider Simon Clarke on stage 10 of the Giro d'Italia

Richie Porte‘s (Team Sky) Giro d’Italia hopes took a setback in the closing kilometres of stage 10 when a puncture caused him to be left behind by the peloton.

Despite the efforts of his teammates he crossed the line 47 seconds in arrears to pink jersey wearer Alberto Contador, falling to fourth overall at 1m09s.

However, this wasn’t the whole story: it later transpired that it was fellow Australian Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge) who had given Porte his wheel to get him back in contention.

At first, this was seen simply as a great stroke of sportsmanship with the Giro tweeting its approval:

But the social media mood later changed when news broke that both Porte and Clarke had been given a two minute time penalty for ‘non-regulation assistance’.

David Millar wasn’t backward in coming forward with his take on the situation:

Cannondale-Garmin’s team manager Jonathan Vaughters was a bit more vague, but seemingly just as miffed:

Oldest Grand Tour winner Chris Horner shared his thoughts:

Doctor Hutch speculated about where Leopold Konig might be sleeping tonight after the penalty took Porte below him on GC:

Whereas others looked beyond the black and white of the rulebook, to discuss the actual impact of the assistance given:

Chris Boardman added his two penneth:

While Neal Rogers had a devilish idea as to how Porte could get the time back:

Tom Dumoulin summed up it all up quite well:

What do you think about it?

  • Les Toth

    I’m going to check that out now
    Thanks
    🙂

  • Man in motion

    I would like to believe that also. I also think that the penalty is way to heavy. But that kind of behaviour, although not unheard of, is not common and Clarke is an off the bike friend of Porte’s, so I think it was more a show of friendship, thus sellective, than of sportmanship, to anyone. The sad thing is how unnecessary it was, as Sky riders were standing near by who could’ve provided the wheel. And, although a different situation, in 2011 also in the Giro, Contador attacked his group in an uphill finish, went pass Purito and reached the stage’s leader, personal friend Paolo Tiralongo, and then slowed down to pace him to his first professional win (Tiralongo’s), even when they were in seperate teams and taking the possibility away from those who were chasing Tiralongo from winning (incudying countryman Purito). Of course it was not “technical assistance” but it was clearly giving support to someone from another team. At the time I thought it was the most beautiful show of humanity.

  • Les Toth

    I can agree with your example thought and my answer is I don’t know. I would like to think good people would help anyone in need and that these people exist even at the very highest tiers of sport.

  • Coach Rob Manning DC

    There’s very little from the Armstrong era that I consider a “good” memory.

    Cancellara holding the peloton during the 2010 tour is a better example.

    And I don’t think it’s a “silly rule.” I think it’s perfectly appropriate to prevent collusion on the basis of simple friendship or country affiliation. It’s very easy to steer clear of it…just don’t do it.

  • Hans Vos

    Okay, this was a bit of a romantic idea. And I’m sure Porte will let his legs do the talking.
    But if you think this is a silly rule, and I think so, a protest from the whole peloton would impress more than a letter on the UCI desks. I don’t know whether the rule existed when Jan Ullrich tipped over the edge and Armstrong and others held their legs until Ullrich, safe and sound, joined them again. But that’s (at least) a good memory from those days, isn’t it?

  • Coach Rob Manning DC

    No, it wouldn’t.

    Be realistic. A great way to illustrate the concept of sportsmanship is for the GC contenders to condemn the commissiares’ decision and continue to race for pink. Nothing says Porte can’t continue to race.

  • Coach Rob Manning DC

    No, it wouldn’t.

    Be realistic. A great way to illustrate the concept of sportsmanship is for the GC contenders to condemn the commissiares’ decision and continue to race for pink. Nothing says Porte can’t continue to race.

  • Coach Rob Manning DC

    Not at all.

    UCI rule 2.3.012 about the ‘Rights and Duties of Riders’ is very clear, however:

    All riders may render each other such minor services as lending or exchanging food, drink spanners or accessories.

    The lending or exchanging of tubular tyres or bicycles and waiting for a rider who has been dropped or involved in an accident shall be permitted only amongst riders of the same team, The pushing of a rider by another shall in all cases be forbidden, on pain of disqualification.

  • Coach Rob Manning DC

    Not at all.

    UCI rule 2.3.012 about the ‘Rights and Duties of Riders’ is very clear, however:

    All riders may render each other such minor services as lending or exchanging food, drink spanners or accessories.

    The lending or exchanging of tubular tyres or bicycles and waiting for a rider who has been dropped or involved in an accident shall be permitted only amongst riders of the same team, The pushing of a rider by another shall in all cases be forbidden, on pain of disqualification.

  • Hans Vos

    Just imagine …
    Stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia is only 10 kilometers on its way when Alberto Contador blows a whistle and the whole peloton comes to a halt. All the riders, or at least the top 30 riders of the GC, start to exchange their front wheels. They make sure not to pass it on to a team mate and that the jury is their witness.
    Ritchie Porte and Simon Clarke don’t change wheels but take a sip and peel off a banana while looking at their collegues. The whole action only takes a minute or two and off they go, ready for some fair competition.
    Wouldn’t that be a great way to illustrate the concept of sportsmanship?

  • Hans Vos

    Just imagine …
    Stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia is only 10 kilometers on its way when Alberto Contador blows a whistle and the whole peloton comes to a halt. All the riders, or at least the top 30 riders of the GC, start to exchange their front wheels. They make sure not to pass it on to a team mate and that the jury is their witness.
    Ritchie Porte and Simon Clarke don’t change wheels but take a sip and peel off a banana while looking at their collegues. The whole action only takes a minute or two and off they go, ready for some fair competition.
    Wouldn’t that be a great way to illustrate the concept of sportsmanship?

  • elan

    Some of this could be down to friendship and not sportsmanship,Sky had a problem with Froome in the tour getting a gel outside the limit.A uk magazine thought it was okay as the fine justified it.Knowing how Alberto is he would be the first to say the penalty was wrong,but he does not make the rules so why bring him into the argument?We should move on and im sure Port will make some time up.The rule is harsh,but so was Albertos shoulder problem when they say you can only take some medication and nothing else.This is a great Giro and there is still lots of racing to come.

  • elan

    Some of this could be down to friendship and not sportsmanship,Sky had a problem with Froome in the tour getting a gel outside the limit.A uk magazine thought it was okay as the fine justified it.Knowing how Alberto is he would be the first to say the penalty was wrong,but he does not make the rules so why bring him into the argument?We should move on and im sure Port will make some time up.The rule is harsh,but so was Albertos shoulder problem when they say you can only take some medication and nothing else.This is a great Giro and there is still lots of racing to come.

  • Jan Bergkotte

    The fact is, if Contador have a puncher and….nobody is helping him. ????
    How honest is the situation than ???

  • Texas Roadhouse

    Just another example of jobsworth administrators in sport being totally out of touch with the spirit of the rules. Cycling is not alone in being “blessed” with these people.

  • Terry Baker

    Very silly decision – bet it would not have happened to ARU. Many times I
    have seen riders pass or take a bottle from another team – the
    consequences of running out of liquid could be far more than 2 minutes
    but surely this is against the rules too?

  • Terry Baker

    Very silly decision – bet it would not have happened to ARU. Many times I have seen riders pass or take a bottle from another team – the consequences of running out of liquid could be far more than 2 minutes but surely this is against the rules too?

  • Man in motion

    It is true! I hadn’t seen it on the edge there’s the sleeve of the Sky maillot.

  • blemcooper

    Maybe. Not quite at the end, but consider the fate of French racer Eugène Christophe at the Tour de France in 1913 and the famous welding assistance incident for that yellow jersey wearer…

  • blemcooper

    Since we’re talking about bad UCI rules and the UCI rules allowed the vertical barriers in a sprint finish that allowed a spectator to reach out and knock off Colli and eventually Contador causing him to dislocate his shoulder mean that Aru and Porte would also have to dislocate their shoulders while Contador and Aru hang out at the finish line for a couple of minutes while Porte rides through?

  • Mike Prytherch

    Rules are the rules, I think this one is harsh but Porte should of refused the help…. so why didn’t he ?

    Perhaps he knew that without the assistance he would of lost 5 minutes, so 2 minutes isn’t as bad, or perhaps he didn’t even know the rule, in which case he should !

    Bottom line…. there are 8 other riders riding for Sky, and not one of them was around to give him a wheel, BAD TEAM WORK…. this is Sky shooting themselves in the foot yet again, they concentrate on giving him a motorhome instead of fundamentals of the sport, I doubt he slept well last night.

    Its a real shame as it was looking to be a brilliant 3 way battle.

  • Brian Steele

    Isn’t that a SKY rider in the photo, why didn’t he donate his wheel and ask Orica to ride with Porte instead.? Legal and just as helpful? (I’m not a racer so apologies if there’s an obvious reason!)

  • Man in motion

    For it to be sportmanship it would have to be evenly handed. Would Simon Clarke’ve done the same had the flat tyre happened to Aru or Contador? Else Porte was getting a safety net not avaliable to others on account of being an Aussie or friend of a rider, and not on team tactics and support.

  • Luca

    I got a puncture once

  • John Westwell

    Wasn’t there a neutral service vehicle around? It was a front wheel, so a relatively easy one to change.

  • JohndJ

    Italians love rules and fair play 😉

  • mon_go

    I like Neal Rogers’ idea!

  • Man in motion

    Among the tweets above, I find Horner’s the most balanced and have to question CW’s focus on all-but-one English speakers Tweets as a bit biased. For the sake of argument, it should be noted that Porte’s Sky teammates should’ve been there to take care of him. That’s the “team” part in the sport. In a match between, say, Real Madrid and ManCity, I don’t expect David Silva to do any favours to Iker Casillas for being a countryman or friend. Now, if there was a tradition of helping a GC contender, no matter the personal relationship with him, in this kind of situation, then fine. Would Simon Clarke’ve done the same had the flat tyre happened to Aru or Contador? If the answer is “no” then accepting the help to a fellow Aussie is equivalent to accepting reliance on personal friendships and chance of having a countrymen near by as a factor. The luck of getting a flat tire would be replaced by the luck of having a friend near by, rather than a teammate. At least the chances of a flat tyre are the same for everyone.

  • Les Toth

    What an awful thing to penalise. This was friendship, sportsmanship, good will. Everything that makes persevering with the cheating, the drugging and the drama worth while. This is my sport, and i’m ashamed for us all.

  • Will Pearson

    UCI should immediately review rules so that such acts of good sportsmanship be rewarded, not penalised. It is disgraceful that such a great race be turned into a lottery. We had three serious contenders; now there are two. This is very bad for the sport. Sky should consider withdrawing their team!

  • FT Davidsson

    It wasn’t. Leave the hypotheticals out of this.

  • Floating Voter

    Seems very strange indeed after all the amalgamation that has gone on in the Giro by italian riders to ensure an Italian rider wins!,i thought we had gone beyond that by now?..

  • TrevorHoldsworth

    Rock up Robert Millar and tell us what you think!

  • James Rider

    Say it was the final stage into Milan and Porte was in pink. If Clarke gave him the wheel then would be hearing the same thing if it meant he lost the Giro?

  • James Cooper

    I’m looking forward to hearing Sean Kelly’s views on TV tomorrow.

    Hopefully more views from previous Giro winners will be posted – Merckx, Gimondi, Hinault, Roche, Simoni, Nibali etc…….