It’s been a year of hard luck for Tasmanian Richie Porte. Once again he crashed out of the Tour de France on the exact stage that he crashed out in last year’s edition of the French grand tour.
To add insult to injury, Porte, now back in training for an attempt at the Vuelta a Espana, fell and injured his right hand just moments before he was to sign a two year contract with his new team Trek-Segafredo. The injury prevented him from signing his name on the document and so the contract has yet legally ratified.
“It was just bad luck really, could have happened to anyone. Unfortunately, these things just keep happening to me,” said Porte. “I was just walking up the stairs to the meeting and tripped on the last step. I tried to break my fall but instead injured my wrist and several fingers. I wish Dan Martin had been just in front of me because I could have fallen on him instead and then I would have escaped without anything major.”
Porte was able to regain his feet and attend the meeting, through he was seen gritting his teeth and asking for several aspirin. His wrist and hand are scheduled for an MRI this evening and Trek Segafredo officials are hopeful that in the next few days the swelling will go down enough to sign the document.
“I couldn’t even make an X, you know? It hurt like Hell but that’s bike racing and bike business. Hopefully I can get back out there tomorrow, test my hand and see if I can hold a pen,” said Porte. “The team has a amazing medical staff and I’m well looked after.”
Trek Segafredo team manager Luca Guercilena remains unperturbed by the unlucky turn of events. “Richie is tough and he will bounce back. Everyone has a crash or fall at some point. We expect a rapid recovery and the lawyers are standing by with their briefcases and documents,” said Guercilena. “The signing is a formality we will take care of later.”
Despite the injury, Porte is confident it won’t affect his performance in the Vuelta a Espana, which kicks off tomorrow in Malaga with an 8 kilometer time trial. “My grip on the bars is fine, it’s just I don’t have that fine motor skill and mobility to make a nice, legible signature,” said Porte. “If I have to wait on the contract, then that’s what I’ll do. I’m keeping a pen in my jersey pocket and when I’m feeling better, we’ll get it done straight away.”