Porte Suffers Through Paris-Nice Stage 26. March 2017, Amilly (FRA) — Road Team
Another extremely wet and windy stage made for tough conditions on stage 2 of Paris-Nice, with Richie Porte suffering throughout the 195km stage to lose significant time on the finish line.
Porte initially made the first group of the split peloton and after 40km, the group had a 35-second lead. Strong winds and extremely high average speeds of almost 50km/hr in the first two hours of racing saw Porte drop from the front group over the next 15-20km.
Although Porte’s BMC Racing Team teammates joined him and began the chase to close the gap, it had grown to 4’30” inside the final 80km, and by the time the group crossed the line in Amilly, they were 14’16” in arrears of the bunch.
Porte’s cumulative time loss over the first two days of racing sees him sit in 35th place on the General Classification, 15’17” behind current race leader Arnaud Démare (FDJ).
Six stages remain, including another flat stage on stage 3 of 190km with two small climbs in the second half of the race, before a 14.5km individual time trial to Mont Brouilly on stage 4.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“I was in the first group when the peloton split. Fran Ventoso and Danilo Wyss were there with me and were great, shepherding me. We really missed a guy like Michael Schär in conditions like that. I know I’m in good form. It’s not my kind of racing but I don’t want to make excuses as to why I dropped. At the end of the day I think we can learn more from a day like than we do winning. It was a tough day for everyone, the whole peloton. I don’t think anyone will forget that one in a while. No one is more disappointed than me, but I think I can repay my teammates later in the week with the time trial and other stages by going for the win there.”
Yvon Ledanois, Sports Director:
“Obviously it’s a disappointing day for us. We knew before the stage that it was another dangerous day with the cross winds. Everyone knew the goal, we needed to protect Richie. It was a fast start and when the peloton split we had Fran Ventoso, Danilo Wyss and Richie Porte in the first group. In this moment it was perfect. Once again the group went full gas and dropped Fran, and then Richie dropped with Danilo. I asked everyone to pull but Richie dropped from the second and third group and everyone waited to pull for him. We lost a lot of time by the time we reached the finish line.”
“It’s clear the GC is done. But we have a big team here and it’s important for the team and our sponsors to carry on with motivation. The time trial and mountain stages at the end of the week are important and good opportunities for us. We definitely have the potential to win stages. I don’t want to finish the week with nothing and I’m confident that we can bounce back with some good performances.”
Stage 2: Rochefort-en-Yvelines > Amilly (195km)
Top 3: 1. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida), 2. John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo), 3. Arnaud Demare (FDJ).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 88. Francisco Ventoso, 103. Richie Porte, 116. Danilo Wyss.
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.