Moreno Moser (Cannondale) delivered one of the most impressive performances of his bourgeoning career on Thursday, racing to third place on the Alpe d'Huez behind winner Christophe Riblon (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC).
The 22-year-old nephew of Italian great Francesco Moser, riding his first Grand Tour, rode into the nine-man early breakaway and dropped back on the first ascent up Alpe d'Huez before fighting his way back to lead pair Riblon and van Garderen just before the summit. As the American's progress was hindered on the Sarenne descent, Moser led the way for Riblon.
"It was the first day since the start in which I feel really good" said Moser. "In the morning, it didn't seem a good day to go in breakaway because we expected a big fight among the GC riders. Then, when the first riders escaped from the peloton, I decided to follow my instinct and try."
The three riders came together as they rounded the circuit back to the bottom of the climb to Alpe d'Huez but Moser again lost contact, only to put in a measured performance ensuring both that he'd finish on the podium and maintain a gap to the likes of Nairo Quintana (Movistar).
"I'm happy for the result and for my performance," said Moser. "When van Garderen accelerated I knew he was stronger than me as a climber so I decided to proceed with my rhythm. I think I raced with intelligence. Following him and Riblon was too hard for me."
"The Alpe d'Huez was really an amazing show, something that I'll keep inside for all my career," Moser concluded. "I'll race in the gruppetto because for sure I'll pay today's efforts, but I have no regrets."
Moser seemed inspired by his strong performance during Friday's stage and made sure he was part of the big attack on the road to Le Grand Bornand.
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