Richie Porte of BMC Racing has been talking about the horrific crash yesterday that ended his participation in this year’s Tour de France, where he was seen as one of the main challengers for the overall title to his close friend and former Team Sky colleague, Chris Froome.
Porte broke his shoulder blade and pelvis when he was catapulted off his bike on the descent of the Mont du Chat into the path of Quick Step Floors rider Dan Martin, who also crashed but was able to complete the 181.5km stage from Nantua to Chambery, won by Cannondale-Drapac’s Rigoberto Uran.
The pair had been riding in a select group including Froome – deprived of the services of Geraint Thomas, who had crashed on the earlier descent of the Col de la Biche – and Astana’s Fabio Aru, who moves to second overall.
The Australian rider was treated at the roadside for almost half an hour before been laid on a stretcher, his neck in a brace, and put in an ambulance for the journey to hospital, with people watching on TV taking to social media to express their concerns about him.
It later emerged that he had been conscious throughout, and while his injuries mean he will be out of action for at least a couple of months, they are perhaps not as severe as was first feared.
In a statement released through BMC Racing Porte, who remains in hospital in Chambery, said: "Obviously, I've felt much better than what I do right now. I'm in a fair bit of pain and it's a big disappointment to be honest.
“I think I was in great form and the team were really strong around me too, so it's disappointing but I think after seeing the crash I'm lucky that I have come away with the injuries I have."
Describing the moment he crashed, he recalled: "I remember I came into a corner and it wasn't like we were going too fast or anything like that, but I just remember I locked the back wheel up and that was it really.
“Next thing I was heading for the grass verge on the corner. I stayed conscious the whole time. I remember the whole thing but I must say thank you to the medical staff on the race and the hospital. They have been absolutely fantastic."
As for the timeframe for his return to racing, Porte said: "I don't think I'll be back on my bike for a good while now.
“I think the team is good with that. They just say to recover, there is no rush to come back. Hopefully, I'll pull the BMC Racing Team jersey on by the end of the year."
He concluded with some words of thanks for those who had shown their support online following his crash, saying: "I think that's the thing with social media. You see the good and the bad. It's overwhelmingly good.
“People are so supportive and really do care so I can't say thank you enough to all of those people. It means the world to me so thank you very much."
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.