Top-placed Australian Richie Porte inched a step closer to a Tour de France podium position after a late attack during Stage17 of the gruelling race.
Set amidst a backdrop of picture-perfect Swiss Alpes, Porte waited until the closing kilometres of the final climb to launch his much-anticipated attack.
Only Team Sky rider Chris Froome was able to match Porte’s late burst of power, the yellow jersey wearer shadowing Richie to the line.
Determined to be on the podium in Paris, Porte was content with the first of four very challenging days in the Alpes.
“I really want to be on the podium so they’re the moves that you have to pull,” he said after the stage.
“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.”
Orica-Bike Exchange rider Adam Yates remains in third position overall, the 23-year-old Brit wearing the white jersey of best young rider.
The Tour de France continues tonight (Australian time) with a tough 17km uphill individual time trial.
Tour de France stage 17 results:
1. Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) 04:36:33
2. Jarlinson Pantano (IAM-Cycling) 00:00:55
3. Rafal Majka (Tinkoff) 00:01:26
12. Adam Yates (ORICA-BikeExchange) 00:08:07
General classification after stage 17:
1. Christopher Froome (Team-Sky) 77:25:10
2. Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) 00:02:27
3. Adam Yates (ORICA-BikeExchange) 00:02:53