Only Roglič was able to follow when Pogačar launched two deadly attacks on the final climb, but Porte managed to hold on, leading a small group including Mikel Landa and Miguel Ángel López away from the rest of the GC contenders, including Nairo Quintana, Rigoberto Urán and last year’s winner Egan Bernal.
“The two Slovenes are the strongest guys in the race, just behind them it’s a good result and spending time with some of the other top ten guys was good,” Porte added.
“It’s still a pretty short climb and it’s really only the last two kilometers that were tough, so you know the time gaps are never going to be huge. Sunday on the Grand Colombier – this is where the time gaps are going to be big. , so I hope I make it Saturday and refuel tonight because today has been a tough day. ”
The stage, however, was a bittersweet affair for the American team with Bauke Mollema crashing 86 km from the finish. The Dutchman, who was also in contention for a top 10 spot in Paris, was forced to leave the race by ambulance. He was later diagnosed with a fractured left wrist, which could potentially end his entire season.
“We lost Bauke in a fall after about 100 kilometers, which is not pleasant, especially since it looks like a pretty complicated injury. We wish him good luck but after that it’s obviously difficult to focus on the race again, but I think it’s been good for us. The guys were really good and put me in a good position, and I had good legs today, ”Porte said.
“It’s very bittersweet, but hopefully the next two days will be tough stages, so hopefully we can keep playing GC. “