Aussie cyclist Richie Porte tumbled from third to 12th in the Giro D’Italia standings, copping a two-minute penalty for getting help from a rival team competitor.
“If that’s not Aussie mate ship then what is? … #oweyouabeer,” Porte said on Instagram.
Porte suffered a puncture in the final kilometres of Tuesday’s 10th stage and fellow Australian rider Simon Clarke stopped to help him.
But because Porte rides with Team Sky and Clarke for Orica, race rules say Porte must be penalised two minutes.
“In the moment, I just saw him there, needing a front wheel, I was there as a mate and helped him out,” Clarke said.
“We’re all good mates with Richie … everyone’s going to have to make up their own opinion on it.”
After the stage both riders also took to social media to talk about the incident.
Feeling sad for @richie_porte. Tried to help a friend as most would. I’m sorry about the outcome of all this!
— Simon Clarke (@SimoClarke) May 19, 2015
The penalty was added to the 47 seconds Porte already lost during the stage because of the problem.
The Tasmanian now sits 12th overall, too far behind leader Alberto Contador to catch up.
He is three minutes and nine seconds behind the Spaniard after beginning the day 22 seconds behind.
The riders received support from the cycling community after the stage.
— Rui Costa (@RuiCostaCyclist) May 19, 2015
— Fabian cancellara (@f_cancellara) May 19, 2015
Peloton should all switch wheels on the start line in support of @richie_porte while showing us riders have much influence with unity.
— Caleb Fairly (@calebfairly) May 19, 2015
— David Millar (@millarmind) May 19, 2015
— Anthony McCrossan (@antmccrossan) May 19, 2015