News – Drama at Giro as Porte is penalised


The sportsmanship between Aussies in the Giro saw the judges dock Richie Porte two minutes for swapping wheels with rider on different team

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News – Drama at Giro as Porte is penalised

The Giro d’Italia showed the ugly face of officialdom as the race docked Richie Porte (team Sky) two minutes for swapping a wheel with a fellow Aussie (Simon Clarke) but from a rival team. Porte had punctured and with the help of his Team Sky team-mates, the Tasmanian was forced to chase back to a flying peloton as the race approached the finish in Forlì at flat stick.


Post-race, both riders received a two-minute time penalty for non-regulation assistance to a rider of another team. After losing 47 seconds at the finish, the addition of the penalty sees Porte pushed back to 12th on the general classification, three minutes and nine seconds back on leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo).

Porte suffered the flat tyre inside the last 10km of Monday’s stage into Forlì. Commenting on the time penalty, Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: “It is obviously disappointing that a sporting gesture made in the heat of the moment has resulted in such a strong penalty. No one was trying to gain an unfair advantage. This has however just strengthened our resolve and determination to fight for this race. Richie and the whole team are ready to take it on and there is a lot of this Giro left.”

Porte fired up for Giro fight
Richie Porte is refusing to give up the fight for the Giro d’Italia saying “The peloton was going super fast to try and catch the breakaway and get ready for a bunch sprint, and I picked up a front wheel puncture as we were going around a roundabout. I’d gone around it on the left but my team-mates went around the other side”.

“I stopped, and by the time the guys had got back to me Simon (Clarke from Orica GreenEdge) had already stopped and offered me his wheel. It was a spur of the minute thing. Alberto (Contador) summed it up last night – all you are thinking about when something like that happens is ‘how can I make sure I lose the least time possible'”.

“I didn’t even give it a thought that it might be breaking the rules. Everything was happening so quickly and I was just acting on adrenaline. Simon’s help was amazing – really great sportsmanship. For a fellow pro from another team to help out like that – I think it shows cycling at its best”.

“The sport has made a lot of pretty bad headlines over the years and this was a pretty special moment. Simon is a friend and he showed it yesterday for sure”.


Reacting to the penalty, Porte, one of the nicest guys you could meet, said to his teams website “I think I had better watch what I say… You might have had a different answer last night!”

“Stating the obvious – it is frustrating but there is no point moaning or complaining. It was a technical infringement – although that was literally the last thing on my mind when it happened”.

“As I said, all I wanted to do was to get to the finish line as fast as possible and limit my losses. It’s pretty harsh really that Simon ended up with a two-minute penalty given he was left standing on the side of the road with just one wheel, but there you go”.

“I have to suck it up and we have to look forward as a team. It has been great to get so much support overnight. That means a lot. No-one should doubt how much I still want to win this race. There are still two weeks to go. It has been a great Giro so far. There is still a lot of racing ahead, some tough stages and this has really fired the whole team up to try to get the time back.”

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