SARRAN, France: After two agonising near misses, Swiss Marc Hirschi finally claimed his maiden Tour de France win, and his first as a professional, when he completed a solo break to take the 12th stage on Thursday (Sep 9). Having finished second in the second stage in Nice and third in the ninth stage in Laruns after a long solo breakaway in the Pyrenees, the former Under-23 world champion held off a group of chasers to prevail following a bumpy 218km trek that ended in former French president Jacques Chirac’s hometown. France’s Pierre Rolland was second and Hirschi’s Sunweb team mate Soren Kragh Andersen of Denmark took third place as Slovenian Primoz Roglic retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey. “It’s unbelievable, I was twice really close and actually today I never believed that I could make it,” said the 22-year-old Hirschi. “I went full gas. It’s super nice. Actually I was always doubting, I had the picture in my mind of the last two stages. My first victory as a professional, it’s incredible. I know I’m strong. It just gave me extra power, it was now or never.” It was a quiet day for the main contenders but sparks could fly… Read full this story
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