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I knew on the morning of stage 19 at the Giro d’Italia that finishing the stage was probably going to be beyond the realms of possibility. Even when Bora-Hansgrohe were on the front and just controlling the pace rather than doing anything crazy, I knew that it was game over. I was struggling to hold the wheel almost from the start of the stage, and to be honest there wasn’t any hope. With gastro it doesn’t matter how good your form is; if you’re hit with it then it just wrecks your body for 24 hours.
It’s totally different from something like a crash, where you can suffer through the pain because you’ve still got your form and your strength, but with a bug you can press on the pedals all you want but it doesn’t do a thing. It’s not a nice place to be.
Unfortunately I couldn’t fly home right away. I stayed until the following night, and just kept myself to myself in the hotel. It was a disappointing end to my grand tour, and my last one at that, but there’s nothing I could have done.
I watched the final road stage on television and at the end of the day you have to hand it to Jai Hindley. Over three weeks he was the strongest rider and there was nothing he couldn’t handle. We tried our best but the strongest guy normally wins over a race of that length. We knew that he was strong, and there’s no denying that as the race went on the team knew that Hindley was the one we were going to be fighting with. The way Jai rode was really impressive. I read that Ineos were ‘shell shocked’ but I don’t know about that. We expected him to be good, but maybe we just didn’t realise that he was going to be that good.
Giro d’Italia 2022: Richie Porte’s blog
- Full Circle: Richie Porte Giro d’Italia blog
- The calm before the storm: Richie Porte part II
- Chapeau to Simon Yates but this Giro d’Italia is just getting started
- Richie Porte’s Giro d’Italia blog: It’s better to be dishing it out than to be taking it
- Richie Porte’s Giro d’Italia blog: Not everyone on Blockhaus had the same finish line
- Richie Porte’s Giro d’Italia blog: The final week is all about numbers, and maybe some luck
It’s also nice to see that Jai is getting plenty of credit back home in Australia. I’m an Australian too, and while I’m also an Ineos rider, it’s good to see cycling in the sports pages instead of Aussie rules football, rugby and other sports. This is a great thing for Australian cycling.
I know it didn’t end the way I wanted it to but I still enjoyed the Giro. The team had a great feel, and there was little stress in our camp. If that’s how my grand tour journey ends, then that’s just how it is. I also know that Ineos is a team that’s building for the future. We’ve got so many young guys and seeing them develop has been great to see from inside the team.
You just have to look at a guy like Ben Tulett, who had a great Giro. He, and riders like him, are the future of this team going forward. I’m obviously gutted about how the Giro ended but I’m going to take a load of good memories from the whole experience.
I don’t know what’s next on my calendar but now that I’m home the plan is to just take it easy for a few days. I’m still not 100 percent, and I’ve been looking forward to spending time with the family since I set off for Hungary. After the break the team and I will look ahead to the second half of the season and set some goals. For now though, it’s time to sit back and relax. I hope you’ve enjoyed the Giro blogs and thanks for joining me across my final grand tour.