Richie Porte given two-minute Giro d'Italia penalty over wheel change
Team Sky rider now 3min 9sec off race lead in 12th overall
Last Updated: 20/05/15 7:02pm
Richie Porte fell to 12th overall at the Giro d'Italia after a puncture and a subsequent two-minute penalty for an illegal wheel change cost him a total of 2min 47sec on a nightmare 10th stage.
The Team Sky rider pulled up with 8km remaining to the finish in Forli and was given a replacement wheel by fellow Australian Simon Clarke, of opposing team Orica-GreenEdge.
A second Orica-GreenEdge rider in Michael Matthews then joined four other Team Sky members in the effort to drag Porte back to the bunch, which was riding at full speed in a bid to close down the day's breakaway, but they were unable to catch back up and finished 47 seconds down.
But then things got even worse for the Australian, because the race jury enforced article 12.1.040/8.2 of the International Cycling Union rules, regarding "non-regulation assistance to a rider of another team", and hit both Porte and Clarke with two-minute penalties and fines of 200 Swiss francs apiece.
Porte had been third overall but has plummeted nine places and now sits 3min 9sec behind Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), who finished in the peloton to remain three seconds ahead of second-placed Fabio Aru (Astana) at the top of the general classification.
Porte’s penalty was widely criticised within the cycling world.
Retired British rider David Millar tweeted: "Shame @UCI_cycling continue to show how incredibly out of touch they are with the modern peloton. Stupid is as stupid does. Today @SimoClarke shows not only sportsmanship but friendship in helping @richie_porte out when he needed it. That is cycling to me..."
Chris Boardman tweeted: "What a desperately bad decision by judges at Giro. Really foolish to penalise friendship & goodwill, exactly what we need to see more of."
Chris Horner, winner of the 2013 Vuelta a Espana, tweeted: "@richie_porte is getting penalized 2 min?? If this rule is always enforced, lot of guys will be in trouble for getting help from a friend! GC shouldn't be decided by this kind of rule. Flat tire alone in critical moment is penalty enough!"
Breakaway rider Nicola Boem (Bardiani-CSF) claimed victory on stage 10 after the peloton failed to catch the five-man escape group despite the day appearing almost certain to end in a bunch sprint.
Stage 10 result
1 Nicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani-CSF, 4:26:16
2 Matteo Busato (Ita) Southeast, same time
3 Alessandro Malaguti (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini, +2secs
4 Alan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin, +4
5 Giacomo Nizzzolo (Ita) Trek Factory Racing, +18
6 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida, st
7 Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal, st
8 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Giant-Alpecin, st
9 Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF, st
10 Davide Appollonio (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, st
20 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana, st
31 Alberto Contador (Esp) Tinkoff-Saxo, st
150 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky, +1:05
1 Alberto Contador (Esp) Tinkoff-Saxo, 42:58:09
2 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana, +3secs
3 Mikel Landa (Esp) Astana, +46
4 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana, +1:16
5 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo, +1:46
6 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx – Quick-Step, +2:10
7 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar, +2:12
8 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing, +2:20
9 Andrey Amador (Cos) Movistar, +2:24
10 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Sky, +2:30
12 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky, +3:09