Richie Porte escapes broken bones but is ‘beat up and sore’ after Paris-Nice crash
Richie Porte is fracture-free after an errant water bottle in the first stage of Paris-Nice caused a crash that sent him to the ground and out of the race.
Porte was inspected by his team doctor when he returned to the Ineos team hotel and then completed scans at the local hospital, which turned up no broken bones. “Feeling beat up and sore but can’t thank the team enough for getting around me,” Porte said.
Paris-Nice was Porte’s first race with the Ineos Grenadiers after a transfer from Trek-Segafredo, and his abandon means that Giro d’Italia winner Tao Geoghegan Hart now takes sole leadership for the Race to the Sun. Porte is a two-time winner of Paris-Nice, having taken victories in 2013 and 2015.
The crash was caused by a wayward water bottle, according to Ineos teammate Ben Swift, who said the bottle went under George Bennett’s wheel, causing the Kiwi to swerve into Porte. The incident occurred with 33 km remaining in the first stage. Determined to carry on after the crash, Porte remounted and rode 20 km alone before getting in the Ineos team car.
Given the lack of fractures, it’s expected that Porte will be able to resume training quickly and jump back into his planned spring schedule.
The Tasmanian is a likely candidate for Ineos’ always-powerful Tour de France squad, particularly after his career-best 3rd place finish in 2020. He was part of a raft of high-profile signings for the team that also included Adam Yates from Mitchelton-Scott, Critérium du Dauphiné stage winner Dani Martinez from EF, and Jumbo-Visma’s Laurens de Plus. With Egan Bernal expected to tackle the Giro d’Italia, Porte is expected to take a super domestique roll behind Geraint Thomas at the Tour.