Swiss rising star Hirschi lands first Tour de France victory

AFP/Pool

Marc Hirschi secured his first grand tour stage victory after producing a brilliant break on the 12th day of racing in the Tour de France, as Primoz Roglic stayed in the yellow jersey.

Team Sunweb rider Hirschi, a 22-year-old Swiss who won the under-23 road race world title in 2018, showed he belongs at the highest level now with a commanding performance.

He tore clear inside the final 30 kilometres on the ride from Chauvigny to Sarran Correze and was never directly challenged from that point.

It was a performance that hinted at possible greater successes further on in his career, with Hirschi following a second-place finish on stage two and third spot on stage nine by crossing the stage 12 finish line a comprehensive winner.

Danish rider Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) and Spaniard Imanol Erviti (Movistar) were passed with 42.5 kilometres left to race, marking the end of the race's initial breakaway.

Tiesj Benoot and Sunweb's Soren Kragh Andersen led that burst to the front, joined by Movistar's Marc Soler, who soon attacked to go it alone. Despite dropping back into a group of six, Soler mounted another charge to pull clear for a second time, but it would not be his day.

Instead, Hirschi made his move on the category two Suc au May climb, and soon stretched 30 seconds clear of Soler and Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe).

The pace of Hirschi's descent was as remarkable as his power uphill, and he retained the half-minute gap with 15 kilometres remaining before widening his lead on the road to the finish line.

France's Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) made an effort to narrow the gap to Soler and Schachmann, in the vain hope of then mounting a challenge to Hirschi.

In the end it was Pierre Rolland who crossed the line second, with Kragh Andersen third. Roglic was in a bunch two minutes and 30 seconds off the pace, his standing as general classification leader unaffected. 


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