Richie Porte: “I hit my head pretty hard”

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TOULOUSE, France (CT) — Richie Porte will be checked for a concussion, his team confirmed Wednesday, following a high-speed crash some 30 kilometers from the finish of Wednesday’s stage that also took out the majority of his Trek-Segafredo team.

“I hit my head pretty hard, so I guess we’ll see how that is,” Porte told reporters at his team bus after the stage.

The only two Trek riders to escape the high-speed crash were Koen de Kort and Julien Bernard. Porte hit his head, Toms Skujins came across the line with a bloody nose and a tire mark on his leg, and former yellow jersey Giulio Ciconne looked the worst for wear. He stepped gingerly onto the team bus after crossing the line last on the day, over 12 minutes behind stage winner Caleb Ewan, and reported to the medical truck for X-rays.

Porte got off much more lightly, at least in terms of visible injuries. A bit of blood trickled out of his elbow and leg, but he appeared otherwise unscathed.

“Grand scheme of things, for me it wasn’t a terrible crash I don’t think,” Porte said.

The early kilometers of the flat, fast run from Albi to Toulouse went by largely without incident, and Porte and his Trek team were well-positioned when the crash occurred. Porte said an EF rider crashed in front of him, but he wasn’t sure why.

“We were up in the front. They’re pretty indiscriminate, the crashes here,” he said. “It’s probably a relief to get the first crash over and done with.”

The team was quick to remount and pull Porte back into the peloton. He lost no time on the day. Niki Terpstra went down in the same crash and was forced to abandon with what appeared to be a broken collarbone.

Trek’s press officer confirmed that the team has a concussion protocol in place, and that the team doctor would check Porte thoroughly before deciding if he’s clear to take the start for tomorrow’s difficult stage to Bagnères-de-Bigorre.

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