“It is unbelievable, I used to be twice actually shut and truly at this time I by no means believed that I may make it,” mentioned Hirschi.
“I went full fuel. It is tremendous good. Really I used to be all the time doubting, I had the image in my thoughts of the final two phases. My first victory as an expert, it is unimaginable. I do know I am robust. It simply gave me further energy, it was now or by no means.”
It was a quiet day for the primary contenders, however sparks may fly on Friday when the 13th stage takes the peloton to Puy Mary, on the prime of the ascent to the Pas de Peyrol.
Thursday’s stage, the longest on this yr’s version, was no stroll within the park, nevertheless, because the bunch whizzed by means of 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), fashioned the early breakaway however the peloton stored 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 Might, however Hirschi counter attacked and crested the summit alone. He prolonged his lead within the descent and by no means seemed again.