Porte and the Tour de France: the curse of stage 9
There was anticipation around the ninth stages of the 2017 and 2018 Tours de France but for Richie Porte these race days he’d rather forget.
Interest in the Tour obviously centres around riders who are vying for the overall victory and Porte is exactly one of those guys. He has all the physiological gifts to win the race but he hasn’t been able to make it beyond stage nine of late. Bad luck haunts him at the Tour and, we can be sure, he doesn’t like it either. Crashing isn’t fun. Abandoning the Tour in peak condition isn’t the plan of any rider, let alone a GC specialist who was in the form of his life. But, to borrow the common phrase used in commentary about unfortunate events: it is what it is.
Today, on the road from Arras to Roubaix, the BMC Racing team’s campaign for a second Tour title came to an end.
In time we’ll find out more and hear how Richie manages his emotions but, right now – in the hours just after another bone crunching accident – we just hope that the injuries are not long term and that he manages to somehow hold his morale for the job he was born to do.
A collarbone isn’t quite as bad as what he endured after the crash on the Mont du Chat but it’s enough to make him wonder what he can do to avoid bad luck.
Of course he never intended to end the race in an ambulance and, knowing what his attitude is like, he’ll somehow find a silver lining but the immediate reaction is, quite simply: bugger! This is shortly followed by: hope he’s okay.
What comes next remains to be seen but for now, before the peloton reaches the anticipated rendezvous with the cobbled roads leading to Roubaix, we just acknowledge that the curse of stage nine has struck again.
– By Rob Arnold