Richie Porte said he was bitterly disappointed with stage seven of the Tour de France, but there was an even bigger hurt away from the race for the Australian.
While racing in the crosswinds from Millau to Lavuar, Porte missed the birth of his second child, a daughter, which he said “hurts more than words can express.”
>> Save up to 31% with a magazine subscription. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<
Trek-Segafredo rider Porte, who lost more than a minute to the favourites on stage seven, said: “While yesterday was bitterly disappointing on the bike, my wife Gemma and I had this little bundle of joy arrive.
“Hurts more than words can express to miss the birth of your child, but thank you Trek-Segafredo for being so supportive.
“Will be a long and tough race mentally now but the biggest gift awaits after Paris.”
Porte suffered a rough day on stage seven as Ineos Grenadiers forced splits in the wind later in the stage to distance GC rivals.
The tactic worked as Porte, Mikel Landa (Bahrain-McLaren) and Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) found themselves trailing off the back of the front group.
Ineos rider Richard Carapaz also fell victim to his team’s tactics, as he suffered a punctured and lost time.
By the finish, the Porte group had fallen 1-21 behind the favourites and the 35-year-old has now fallen back five places overall to 20th place.
The Australian is still chasing Tour de France victory after years of bad luck.
After finishing fifth in the 2016 Tour, Porte crashed out of the 2017 and 2018 Tours on stage nine on both occasions.
Last season he made it through the race with no major incidents but was never quite on the same level as past seasons, moving up to 10th place in the final week before settling for 11th place by the time the race reached Paris.
Porte has two children, after the birth of his son Luca in 2018.