Konrad soloes to Tour de France stage 16 victory

Patrick Konrad claimed a maiden Tour de France victory with a successful long-range attack on a rain-soaked 16th stage, a 169-km mountain trek from Pas de la Casa, Andorra, on Tuesday.

You can rewatch STAGE 16 of 2021 Tour de France HERE

The Bora-hansgrohe rider broke away from a small group 36.5 kilometres from the finish in the day’s last significant climb and never looked back as his chasers reacted too late.

The 29-year-old crossed the line 42 seconds before Sonny Colbrelli, who outsprinted Michael Matthews for second.

“I had already been in the breakaway three times and every time I waited too long,” Konrad said. “I noticed that those who won from the breakaway, Matej Mohoric or Bauke Mollema, attacked far from the finish and I took inspiration from that. I had decided to take the matter into my own hands.”

Konrad is only the third Austrian rider to win a stage on the Tour after Georg Totschnig in 2005, and Max Bulla who won three stages and wore the yellow jersey for a day.

Defending champion Tadej Pogacar retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey as the main contenders kept their powder dry ahead of Wednesday’s much-feared 17th stage to the Col du Portet, a 16-km ascent at an average gradient of 8.7%.

To get there, they will first tackle the Col de Peyresourde (13.2-km at 7%) and the Col de Val Louron-Azet (7.4km at 8.3%).

Pogacar’s group finished Tuesday’s stage 13:49 off the pace as the top positions in the general classification remained unchanged.

“For sure (my rivals) were focusing on tomorrow when everyone will try because it will be the hardest day in this Tour,” said Pogacar. “If someone feels very good tomorrow they can make a big difference against someone who feels bad. I don’t know what their (my rivals’) tactics will be.”

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