Porte Consolidates Critérium du Dauphiné Lead After Alpe D’Huez Battle10. June 2017, Alpe d’Huez (FRA) — Road Team
Richie Porte not only consolidated his Critérium du Dauphiné race lead on stage 7, but also gained time on the majority of his General Classification rivals, after a summit showdown on Alpe d’Huez.
Porte’s teammates had their work cut out for them to protect the yellow jersey and responded with a huge performance to control the race situation and set Porte up in the finale.
There were multiple attempts to form a breakaway but BMC Racing Team responded to each attack before finally letting a group of 17 riders, who posed no threat to Porte’s race lead, go clear.
The advantage hovered around the three-minute mark for the first half of the race, before extending out to more than five minutes, and then coming back down again on the approach to the Col de Sarenne.
One by one, Porte’s teammates pulled at the front of the bunch until it was just Ben Hermans leading Richie up the climb. Hermans did a brilliant job responding to multiple attacks from Porte’s General Classification rivals.
Up ahead, the remaining riders from the original breakaway fought on, and behind Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) was the only General Classification rider to gain time on Porte’s group.
Inside the final 2km on Alpe d’Huez, Porte went from riding defensively to going on the attack and dropped most of his rivals, with the exception of Jakob Fulgsang (Astana Pro Team), and eventually crossed the line in sixth place behind stage winner Pete Kennaugh (Team Sky).
Porte’s stellar performance on stage 7 sees him extend his race lead to 1:02 over Chris Froome (Team Sky) and 1:15 over Fulgsang.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“It was a good day. Attack is the best form of defence. All I can say is my team worked incredibly today, especially Ben Hermans in the final. He covered the moves from the biggest riders. I tip my cap to each and everyone of my teammates today as they were incredible. From the neo pro Kilian Frankiny to Ben Hermans there in the final, without those guys it would have been impossible to put more time into guys like Chris Froome. One more hard day left. I really want to win this race. Fulgsang came with me when I attacked and he is obviously riding well. I felt great all day and it makes sense when you feel good to go for it. I’m just happy with how it went.”
“The guys did such a good job on the penultimate climb that I came to the bottom of Alpe d’Huez with good legs. Some of the other guys attacked so I thought I would have a crack. It wasn’t always the plan to have a go. If you have good legs like I did today I think it’s probably worth trying to take some more time.”
“We can’t be complacent. Tomorrow is a short stage and I expect fireworks. It’s not over until it’s not. We are in a good position and the team is incredibly strong. I’d love to finish this off tomorrow, I’d love to win this race.”
Critérium du Dauphiné
Stage 6 Aoste > Alpe d’Huez (167.5km)
Top 3: 1. Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky), 2. Ben Swift (UAE Team Emirates), 3. Jesus Herrada (Movistar Team).
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 6. Richie Porte, 31. Ben Hermans, 56. Nicolas Roche
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.