Ineos Grenadiers remained upbeat at the 2022 Volta a Catalunya despite their untimely loss of Richie Porte on stage 2 , with the unwell Australian veteran having to quit some 50 kilometres from the line.
A former Volta Catalunya winner and recent top five finisher in Tirreno-Adriatico, Porte was one of multiple cards the British squad planned to play in the GC battle at the seven day race. But as sports director Brett Lancaster told Cyclingnews , after getting through Monday’s opening stage with the main pack, things went awry for Porte on Tuesday.
“He was ok yesterday [Monday] but got sick during the race today,” Lancaster said. “So he decided to stop and we’ll make sure he recovers well.”
On the plus side for the team that took all three top spots in Catalunya last year – with Porte slotting into second between Adam Yates and Geraint Thomas – both Richard Carapaz and Pavel Sivakov made it into the front group of some 40 riders that sheered away in the closing kilometres of stage 2. That means both remained poised to fight in the GC battle.
Carapaz is himself coming back from a bad bout of sickness that knocked him out of Tirreno-Adriatico but so far at Catalunya, even if the mountain stages are yet to come, the Olympic champion has been striking all the right notes.
“We’re not expecting massive things because he’s still building for the Giro, “ Lancaster said. "But he’s in a good place, so that’s promising.”
A poorly timed […]