Richie Porte takes control of Criterium du Dauphine Race Lead on Penultimate Stage

The Criterium du Dauphine climbed into the clouds on an Alpine summit finish and Australia's Richie Porte emerged with the overall lead with a single stage remaining

Richie Porte takes control of Criterium du Dauphine Race Lead on Penultimate Stage

The stage itself was won by an exultant Mark Padun of Bahrain Victorious, who threw back his head and laughed as he crossed the line at the La Plagne ski resort at 2,072m above sea level.

Ineos new recruit Porte, third in last year's tour de France, attacked from a kilometre out and only Miguel Angle Lopez was able to follow, the Colombian coming third on the day.

Overnight leader Alexey Lutsenko is now second overall at 17 seconds with Geraint Thomas in third.

The stage took in the tough ascent and tight descent of the Cormet de Roseland with its hairpin bends and breathtaking lake below.

Stage winner Mark Padun said "It's incredible. An incredible moment for me. It's my first WT victory in one of the hardest stages of the Critérium du Dauphiné. Also honestly the last six stages I felt so bad it was incredible. Every day I was thinking it was maybe impossible to finish the race. When I crossed the finish line I had the feeling that I'd wake up in my bed, but it's not a dream and thank Jesus for this fact!"

"I never thought I would be riding in the top 10. I thought maybe I'd arrive in the first 20 guys When Richie Porte attacked I tried to close the gap because my leader Jack Haig was in the group."

"When I saw we were four in front with a small gap, I thought 'why not do something and maybe they'd show me on TV for my mother'. And then Sepp Kuss attacked and I just decided to go. For me it was really unexpected when he dropped and then I just went full gas and hoped nobody would catch me anymore.

"After the last year I was thinking that maybe cycling is not my sport. It's incredible. I want to thank Jesus and thank my team who believed in me and who didn't tell me stop and wait for Jack. They just let me go for the victory and I'm thankful for them for this."

It was a brilliant day for Ineos Grenadiers who are looking more and more formidable as we get closer to the Tour de France starting June 26th.

Sunday's final stage in the Upper Savoy features some tough climbing but the finish line comes 16km after the final summit.

VIDEO: 2021 Criterium du Dauphine Stage 7 Highlights

2021 Criterium du Dauphine Stage 7 Top 10

1 Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain Victorious 4:35:07
2 Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:34
3 Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar Tea 0:00:43
4 Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious
5 Ben O'Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën Team 0:00:47
6 Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:52
7 David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:56
8 Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team
9 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:59
10 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech 0:01:00

2021 Criterium du Dauphine GC after Stage 7

1 Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers 25:28:06
2 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech 00:00:17
3 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 00:00:29
4 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:00:33
5 Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious 00:00:34
6 Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar Tea 00:00:38
7 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
8 Ben O'Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën Team 00:01:00
9 David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 00:01:12
10 Aurelien Paret-Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 00:01:17

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