Contador, Porte attempt to stay upbeat


Alberto Contador and Richie Porte both did their best to remain positive after stage two of the Tour de France, but conceded their yellow jersey hopes had been severely dented on Sunday.

Two-time Tour winner Contador crashed for the second day in succession, the Tinkoff rider having been hurt in a heavy fall on stage one, while Porte suffered a puncture towards the end of the 183km trek from Saint-Lo to Cherbourg-en-Cotentin.

As a result, the Spaniard already sits 48 seconds behind defending champion Chris Froome and Nairo Quintana - the favourites for general classification glory - while BMC's Porte is a further 57 seconds back.

Contador was quoted by the Tour's official website as saying: "I lost more time than I had hoped to lose. I suffered another crash, I hit the handlebars and I was hurt on the other side from yesterday.

"I must stay calm, not lose morale, I'm still standing. The Tour has really started on the wrong footing. I'm not happy at all, [but] it's cycling.

"I must see if I can make up some time in the Pyrenees and the Alps, see what I can do.

"I'm physically hampered. I cannot pedal as I would like as the result of crashes. The important thing is to keep my morale and not fall apart."

Porte also cut a frustrated figure as he reflected on his mishap.

"It was a disaster. But what can you do when you are sitting second wheel, in the perfect position," said the Australian.

"I don't know what I did but the next thing I know, my rear tyre went down and I had to try and get back through the peloton.

"I guess you can only move on. It all just happened so quickly that by the time [team-mate Marcus] Burghardt came back the bunch was gone anyhow.

"The Tour de France is far from over. It's quite a hard one to take but at the end of the day I guess we just pretend it never happened and wait for the mountains to come. It's only a bike race isn't it? So I'm sure the sun will come up tomorrow."

Peter Sagan won stage two to claim the yellow jersey from Mark Cavendish.