Tour de France

Porte ‘lucky’ despite double fracture

Tour de France contender Porte says he's lucky not to have suffered worse injuries after crash in stage 9 that knocked him out of race.

BERGERAC, France (AFP) — Australian Richie Porte said on Monday he was “lucky” to have come away with a fractured pelvis and collarbone from his horrific high speed crash at the Tour de France.

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The 32-year-old Tasmanian came down hard on a wet and slippery descent during Sunday’s stage 9 before careering into Irish rival Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) and clattering both of them into the rock face on the side of the road.

Porte was taken to hospital and later diagnosed with fractures of both his pelvis and his collarbone, but having watched back footage of the crash, he admitted it could have been so much worse.

“Obviously I’ve felt much better than I do right now,” said BMC’s Porte. “[I’m in] a fair bit of pain and it’s a big disappointment to be honest; I was in great form and the team was really strong around me as well, so it’s disappointing.

“But I’ve just seen the crash, I’m lucky also that I’ve come away with the injuries I have.”

Martin’s Quick-Step team published a picture of his smashed helmet after that crash, showing just how important it had been in saving him from much greater harm — he escaped with superficial injuries.

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The crash happened in an instant at high speed, but Porte said he remembers every moment.

“I remember I came into the corner, it wasn’t like we were going too fast or anything like that. I just remember I locked the back wheel up — that was it really.

“The next thing I was heading for the grass verge on the corner.

“I stayed conscious the whole time, I remember the whole thing. I must say thank you to the medical staff on the course and in the hospital, they were fantastic.”

BMC said Porte would need four to six weeks’ recovery time, after which he should resume training around the beginning of August.

But Porte said they wouldn’t be rushing him back. “I don’t think I’ll be back on my bike for a good while now,” he said. “The team’s been good, they’ve just said recover, there’s no rush to come back.

“Hopefully I will pull the BMC jersey on by the end of the year.”