Richie Porte is out of the 2017 Tour de France after crashing heavily on the final descent of Stage 9 of the race.
In a nightmare scenario for every Aussie cycling fan, Porte crashed spectacularly as he entered one of the first corners of the challenging descent. He was reportedly travelling at 72.5kph at the time.
As his bike cartwheeled over an embankment to the left of the road, Porte hit the tarmac heavily and remained motionless on the roadway. NBC Sport reported he soon spoke to medics who were quickly on the scene.
Race medical crews applied a neck brace to the star BMC Racing Team rider. Porte was then carefully transferred to a waiting ambulance and taken to a nearby hospital.
A Tour de France medical assistant who was at the scene following the crash told French TV Porte remained conscious.
“We need to see the scan results first,” she told France Direct 2.
“He is being looked after, the signs on the way to hospital were very good, he is conscious and was reacting well.”
BMC Release Statement
BMC Racing Team later released a statement detailing Porte’s inuries. Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Max Testa, said Porte was transferred to the Centre Hopitalier Metropole Savoie in Chambery for evaluation.
“He underwent X-rays to determine the extent of his injuries,” Dr Testa said. “His condition was stable from the beginning, he was responsive and he remembered everything that happened before and after the crash.”
“X-rays confirmed a non-displaced right clavicle fracture and a non-displaced right acetabulum fracture. Richie also suffered extensive superficial abrasions involving the right side of his body. At this stage, the injuries will not require surgery. The plan is to re-evaluate Richie tomorrow morning and confirm that he is stable enough to be transferred home.”
Dr. Testa said Porte will require at least four weeks off the bike.
“Normally, a fractured clavicle and pelvis would require four to six weeks’ recovery, providing there are no complications,” he said.
“If everything goes to plan, Richie could be back on the bike at the beginning of August and slowly build his fitness up from there. Based on Richie’s recovery, we will re-evaluate his program for the rest of the season in consultation with BMC Racing Team management.”
Porte Defiant Throughout The Stage
Having remained with the Yellow Jersey group for the entire stage and it’s 4600 metres of vertical elevation, Porte’s final day at the 2017 Tour de France was one of typical strength, willpower, defiance and determination. He matched each of Chris Froome’s attacks and fought back with numerous strong counter attacks.
Just 10-minutes before that fateful crash, Porte appeared to be smiling, as if enjoying the pain of the final kilometres of the climb, as Froome looked to be suffering. Cresting the final summit, everyone knew the tricky and technical descent was the final hurdle of the toughest stage of the 2017 edition.
Though the race was only in it’s ninth day Richie Porte had come so far. His whole year, every training hour since his misfortune at the 2016 Tour de France and crash at the Rio Olympics, was spent preparing for this – a shot at the top step of the podium of the world’s biggest bike race. Cycling … It can be such a cruel sport.