Tour de France: Patrick Konrad strikes out for solo success in the Pyrenees

Austrian rider takes his first stage win after breaking clear on the Col de Portet d’Aspet

 Austrian rider Patrick Konrad of the Bora-Hansgrohe team celebrates as he wins the 16th stage of the Tour de France  from Pas de la Case to Saint Gaudens. Photograph: Guillaume Horcajuelo/EPA

Austrian rider Patrick Konrad of the Bora-Hansgrohe team celebrates as he wins the 16th stage of the Tour de France from Pas de la Case to Saint Gaudens. Photograph: Guillaume Horcajuelo/EPA

 

Patrick Konrad of the Bora Hansgrohe team took a solo victory in the second Pyrenean stage of this year’s Tour de France, from Pas de la Casa to Saint-Gaudens.

The Austrian rider broke clear of his breakaway companions, four kilometres from the summit of the stage’s steepest climb, the Col de Portet d’Aspet, to seal his first Tour stage win three days after he finished second, on stage 14 to Quillan, and five days after his team-mate Nils Pollitt won in Nimes.

Although Konrad was pursued by a group of nine riders in the closing kilometres, the Austrian national road-race champion, who finished eighth in last year’s Giro d’Italia, held on to seal the biggest win of his career.

A cold and wet start in the Ariege saw the riders take an agreed pause to change out of bad weather kit. The main contenders for the podium in Paris seemed happy to let an opportunistic breakaway have its head, after some early aggression saw a group of a dozen or so riders finally move clear with just under 90km still to race.

Konrad’s decisive move took him clear over the Portet d’Aspet and his bike-handling skills on the treacherous and technical descent from the pass saw him enter the final kilometres with over a minute’s lead on his pursuers, and the peloton containing Tadej Pogacar almost 14 minutes in arrears.

Ireland’s Dan Martin came home in 102nd position, 16 minutes and 42 seconds behind Conrad and he dropped one place to 52nd on general classification.

– Guardian

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