A crash just seven kilometres after the start of stage nine of the Tour de France saw Richie Porte become the first general classification contender to abandon the 2018 race, but the Australian is already starting to turn his attention to new goals later in the season.
Speaking just a day after he was forced to pull out of the Tour due to a crash for the second year in succession, Porte reflected on his lack of fortune in the race and how he instantly knew the diagnosis as he sat on the tarmac outside Arras.
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“It’s not the way I wanted it to end, especially after last year, and it’s painful physically and mentally but it is what it is,” the 33-year-old said.
“I crashed before we got the cobbles, it was just a racing incident. I don’t remember anything other than being on the ground.
“All cyclists know the feeling of breaking your collarbone, but that’s life. It was confirmed by the first race doctor who said that I needed to get in the ambulance.
“It was a bit of a shock, and then you think about all the hard work you’ve done to get to that point and it’s pretty overwhelming.
However despite the obvious disappointment Porte is already looking ahead to goals later in the season, aiming to get back training in the next week while spending time with his family.
“The good thing is I haven’t done anything to my legs so I’ll be able to get back on the bike next week and turn the legs over on the trainer.
“The Vuelta is probably a realistic goal and also the World Championships. It’s nice to be motivated to still race late in the season. There are some nice races to finish up the season.
“It’s a nice silver lining to be able to go home to see my wife and son. And I can’t be on nappy duty as well which is also a very good thing.”
The Tour de France will continue without Porte on Tuesday with a 158.5km mountain stage between Annecy and Le Grand-Bornard.