Tour de France Stage 17: Porte Shows Form on Summit Finish27. March 2017, Finhaut Emosson (SUI) — Road Team
Richie Porte dug deep to attack just before the final kilometer on the summit finish of stage 17, crossing the line in tenth place and moving up to sixth on the General Classification.
The first stage after the rest day proved to be a tough battle on the climbs and of the elements, with high temperatures making the stage even more difficult.
Greg Van Avermaet chased his way into the day’s breakaway mid-race and hung on until the second to last climb. Solo stage winner Ilnur Zackarin (Team Katusha) came from this breakaway, managing to out-climb Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling) and Rafal Majka (Tinkoff).
Behind Van Avermaet, the battle of the yellow jersey group kicked into gear on the final Hors Categorie climb.
Porte waited for the right moment to attack, with only race leader Chris Froome able to hold his wheel to the line. Porte gained time back on his other riders and now sits in sixth, 4’27” off Froome.
It wasn’t the day for Tejay van Garderen who lost time on the climb and slipped out on the top ten on the General Classification.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“I really want to be on the podium so they’re the moves that you have to pull. I felt strong today and I’m happy with how it all went. I’m with BMC Racing Team now and I’m riding for myself so it’s a bit different to the role I’ve had before. But I’m enjoying it, taking it day by day. The team has put some confidence in me and I’m happy with how today went. I know there are three more hard stages to come until Paris. So we’ll just take it day by day.”
“I spoke with the Sports Directors this morning and they said just use your head and if you feel like it, attack them. I have to anyhow. The tempo was not so fast there and it was a good time to get a gap there. They chased hard I suppose so it’s a good sign. I quite like uphill time trials so I think it’s a crucial one tomorrow. I know I need to have a good time trial and take some time. I think I’ve shown today that I’m climbing well so I take confidence out of today.”
Tejay van Garderen:
“In other years I’ve crashed or been sick, but this year I don’t know, it’s not responding. There’s really no excuse, I wish I had one but I don’t know. I guess I’m going to have to sit down with our performance team and see what we did in the build up. I’ve raced against a lot of these guys before in other races and I’ve been able to be there with them, and for some reason this year it’s not happening.”
“I think I’ll use the TT tomorrow as a recovery day, as much as I can anyway. And then I’ll do what I can to help Richie. Maybe if the legs rebound and I’m down enough on time they might let me sneak into a breakaway and go for a stage win. Richie, from what I heard on the radio, had an amazing ride so we’re really going to put everything behind him. It’s definitely tough. You work the whole year and you think you you’re doing all of the right things. Form’s a funny thing. Sometimes you have it, sometimes you don’t. I know I have it in me to do this, I just need to get all of the pieces together. With 5km to go I was on the limit. I’m not going to say that I gave up but when I realized that clearly I don’t have it, it’s not worth fighting and fighting and fighting for 15th place.”
Yvon Ledanois, Sports Director:
“Today was a good day for the team. Richie showed how strong he is on the climbs which gives us a lot of confidence going into the final three tough stages before Paris. He has the legs, he has the form and I think there is a lot more to come from him. For Tejay it wasn’t the best day but his attitude shows that he is in a good place. He definitely has the potential to win one of the remaining mountain stages and he will be an asset to the team and to Richie in the coming days. All in all, I think we can take confidence from stage 17 and take things day by day until Paris.”
Tour de France
Stage 17 Bern > Finhaut Emosson (km)
Top 3: Ilnur Zakarin (Team Katusha), Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling), Rafal Majka (Tinkoff)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 10. Richie Porte, 27. Greg Van Avermaet, 40. Damiano Caruso
BMC Racing Team Top 3 on GC: 6. Richie Porte, 17. Tejay van Garderen, 27. Damiano Caruso
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.