“It is unbelievable, I used to be twice actually shut and really at the moment I by no means believed that I might make it,” stated Hirschi.
“I went full gasoline. It is tremendous good. Truly I used to be at all times doubting, I had the image in my thoughts of the final two phases. My first victory as an expert, it is unbelievable. I do know I am sturdy. It simply gave me additional energy, it was now or by no means.”
It was a quiet day for the principle contenders, however sparks might fly on Friday when the 13th stage takes the peloton to Puy Mary, on the high of the ascent to the Pas de Peyrol.
Thursday’s stage, the longest on this 12 months’s version, was no stroll within the park, nevertheless, because the bunch whizzed by Saint Leonard de Noblat, the hometown of former France nice Raymond Poulidor, who died final November.
After a really quick begin, six riders, together with four-times Tour stage winner Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), shaped the early breakaway however the peloton saved them on a decent leash.
It was over for them when Marc Soler attacked on the Cote du Pey. The Movistar rider was joined by 5 riders, together with Hirschi and two of his Sunweb teammates.
Soler jumped away within the brutal climb of the Suc au Could, however Hirschi counter attacked and crested the summit alone. He prolonged his lead within the descent and by no means seemed again.