Australia’s Richie Porte has taken the overall lead with one stage to go in the eight-day Critérium du Dauphiné, a key proving ground for the Tour de France.
- Porte finished second behind Mark Padun in the seventh stage
- He sits 17 seconds in front of Kazakhstan’s Alexey Lutsenko
- The Australian finished third in last year’s Tour de France
Porte took the yellow jersey after finishing second on stage seven of the famous French race, reaching the La Plagne summit behind Mark Padun.
He made his attack on the mountain stage after being given the all clear from Ineos Grenadiers teammate Geraint Thomas.
“At the end of the day, it was a good move. It’s nice to have numbers and a strong team to be able to do that,” he told cyclingnews.com.
Porte sits 17 seconds in front of Kazakhstan’s Alexey Lutsenko and 29 ahead of Welsh star Thomas, with the final stage on Sunday (local time).
He was in the same position going into the last stage at the Dauphiné in 2017 but he fell agonisingly short.
The Tasmanian has been in strong form this year, claiming second overall at both the Volta a Catalunya and Tour de Romandie.
It bodes well for Porte as he searches for his maiden Tour de France victory in July, having come third in 2020, his best result at the event.
That followed heartbreaking crashes in 2017 and 2018, and 11th place in the shortened 2019 Tour.