Illness hampers Porte as Nibali tightens grip

TWO days in the Alps is a tough challenge for any Tour de France rider. When you're riding with a chest infection it's almost impossible.

That's what Aussie Richie Porte found out when he lost any hope of a podium finish after day two in the mountains, dropping to 15th overall, more than 16 minutes behind leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) on stage 14.

Porte's health problem is the same one that forced him to withdraw from this year's Giro d'Italia

He was given a second course of antibiotics by the Team Sky doctor, but there is no guarantee he will still be in the saddle when the race resumes after tonight's rest day, with three tough stages in the Pyrenees starting tomorrow night.

Stage 14 was won by rising Polish star Rafal Majka (pictured), of Tinkoff-Saxo, who finished 24 seconds ahead of Nibali. The Italian increased his lead to an almost unbeatable four minutes 34 seconds.