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Giro d'Italia

Richie Porte blog: Chapeau to Simon Yates but this Giro d’Italia is just getting started

An early crash hasn't dampened the Australian's spirits as he looks ahead to the summit finish at Etna.

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Two days in and we’re on our first long transfer of this year’s Giro d’Italia.

It’s been a pretty relaxed race so far and the team is well placed after today’s time trial but as with everything in grand tour racing, nothing is ever that simple.

I’ve already had a little crash on stage 1 but I’m pleased with my 16th place today in the time trial. It was a bit of a funny old course, and I’m not really sure who it suited. I was there or thereabouts but it’s always the case that after a ride like that one, that you sit there and think about all the points where you could have possibly gone just that little bit faster.

Sometimes though, like today, you have to tip your hat because Simon Yates put in a great performance.

Also read: Giro d’Italia stage 2: Simon Yates blitzes Budapest TT, Mathieu van der Poel defends pink

As a team, we had four guys inside the top-20, which we’re really proud of. Young Tulett took fifth on the stage, and what a talent he is.

He’s just 20 and in his first grand tour, so taking a top-five against that level of opposition just shows what class he has on a bike. We were joking that I could be his father, I’m old enough, but Pavel Sivakov did a good ride, too.

We finished at the same time, and then Carapaz did what was expected of him on the ride, which was good. We’re in a good place.

It wasn’t looking as rosy on stage 1, though. I came down with around 2.5km to go on the climb but I was up and off the ground again pretty quickly. I don’t even remember falling to be honest but then last night I could feel a bit of pain on my knee from where I took the hit.

When you hit your knee, especially on the side, it can be uncomfortable, but I’m fine. There’s never a good time to have a fall but I’m glad I came through that hectic final.

All things considered, compared to the Tour de France starts we’ve had in the last couple of years it’s been pretty stress free here in Hungary.

I think that a lot of that stems from the mood within the camp. I was talking to Rod Ellingworth earlier this morning and it really feels like a great atmosphere within the team. It reminds me of back in 2013, when we were all happy and the vibe was really good at Team Sky at the Tour de France.

Everyone is positive and upbeat and it’s good to be part of something like that. It’s a good way to start a grand tour and it just makes everything so much easier. I think that the key is the fact that everyone knows their roles.

Having someone like Carapaz, who we know is flying, makes sure that we’re all on board to help, and it makes everything within the race much more clear cut.

I’ve been in teams in the past when it’s been the complete opposite of that. It leads to tension and a bad atmosphere, and that environment can grind you down day after day.

I’ve been in a situation where there have been too many leaders, some of them were backed up, some weren’t, and it just falls apart pretty quickly.

Looking ahead, from our perspective we just need to get through tomorrow’s sprint stage, and then it’s game on for Etna. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens there. Maybe Yates will take the maglia rosa but that throws up a question about whether it’s too soon to be leading the race. He’s in great form, we saw that today, and I’m sure that with Matt White in the car they’ll come up with a plan.

We’re in the mix though, and we’re happy with how our race is shaping up. This Giro is only just getting started.