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11.09.2020 Europe

Hirschi powers away to win longest stage of 2020 Tour de France

By Paul Myers - RFI
POOL/AFP
LISTEN SEP 11, 2020
POOL/AFP

Marc Hirschi dominated the field to claim the 12th stage of the 2020 Tour de France on Thursday.

The Team Sunweb rider finished the 218km stretch between Chauvigny to Sarran in five hours, eight minutes and 49 seconds.

The 22-year-old Swiss came in 47 seconds ahead of the Frenchman Pierre Rolland and Hirschi's teammates Soren Kragh Andersen was third.

Hirschi, who was second on stage two and third on stage nine, spoke about the agonies of those misses.

But on Thursday he found redemption. The Tour de France debutant broke away from Marc Soler and Maximilian Schachmann 27km from the finish line during the climb of Suc au May.

And, despite the demons in his mind, he never looked back

Joy
“It's unbelievable to win because I was two times really close," said Hirschi. "I never believed that I could make it ... I went full gas until the last 200 metres ... it just feels super nice, I can't describe it. The last kilometre, at last I believed I can make it. It's hard to find words ... it couldn't be better, it's like a dream, it feels incredible.”

Primoz Roglic maintained possession of the leader's yellow jersey following the longest stage of the three week event.

The 30-year-old Slovenian boasts an overall time of 51 hours, 26 minutes and 43 seconds.

The defending champion Egan Bernal is 21 seconds behind in second place and the Frenchmen Guillaume Martin and Romain Bardet are respectively 28 and 30 seconds off the pacesetter.

The tour, which started in Nice on 29 August, finishes along the Champs Elysees in Paris on 20 September.

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