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06/14/2018

Richie Porte firmly in the saddle

At the end of the queen stage Richie Porte (BMC/AUS) managed to add 12 more seconds to his race lead.

During the final kilometres of the 186 km long stage from Fiesch to Gommiswald, Porte put on a show of strength. The Australian rider set a blistering pace and forced one contender after the other to get dropped from his wheel. “At first I didn’t have the plan to attack but when I was informed I figured it was worth to try something. I was somewhat surprised that the others weren’t keeping up. If I will attack again on Friday at the uphill finish in Arosa? Who knows. In cycling, every day is different. I prefer not to make predictions.”

The hard work in the peloton on Thursday was done by Michael Schär who led the peloton throughout most of the first 140 km. “The last few days were very intense. When Simon Gerrans and Alessandro De Marchi joined forces in the final part of the stage, it became even harder for me because the pace was increased.” Porte paid tribute to the work of his domestique. “It’s unbelievable to see what a performance he pulled off!”

In a stage that included the Furka and Klausen Pass at long distance from the finish, it wasn’t a major surprise to see a race within the race. A group of 18 riders from 16 teams started a quest for the stage victory but only five riders would eventually finish ahead of Porte in Gommiswald. The first one of those five riders was Sören Kragh Andersen (SUN/DEN) who celebrated the biggest professional victory of his career to date. “I’m overjoyed and I must thank my team for giving me the opportunity to have a crack at the stage win today. For me, the hard training work paid off. When Michael Gogl attacked in the final, I was playing a risky game because I was waiting for a reaction from the other riders. It worked out in the end, even though I’m not the best of climbers. This triumph in Gommiswald is a major boost to my confidence.”

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