Richie Porte is rapidly emerging as the third strongest rider at the Tour de France with a long-awaited podium place well within his grasp.
The 35-year-old Tasmanian again turned back the clock in the stage 15 mountain-top climax, finishing third and leaping up to sixth in the overall placings.
Porte even hit the front with just a few hundred metres remaining, giving brief hope of his maiden Tour stage win.
He ultimately came in five seconds behind Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) and Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) - the two Slovenians who are also dominating the general classification.
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However, Porte made up time on all other rivals, climbing above Spaniard Mikel Landa and Colombians Nairo Quintana and Egan Bernal to sit 2:13 behind leader Roglic.
With plenty more mountains plus a 36-kilometre individual time trial up La Planche des Belles Filles still to come, the Trek-Segafredo leader is an excellent chance to improve his best Tour finish of fifth in 2016.
Savouring the Tour's second rest day, Porte was proud of his performance on the 174.5km stage from Lyon up the Grand Colombier.
"I had to go to the front and do my pace since I am never going to beat guys like Pogacar and Roglic on a finish like that. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but it was good to put time into some other GC guys," explained the Launceston father-of-two.
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Had he not lost 81 seconds to many of his rivals in the crosswinds of stage seven, Porte would already be sitting third.
He has since moved from 20th to sixth place in the standings with six stages to go.
"It was a good day for the team," he added.
"The big guys did a great job looking after me for the first 100kms, and Mads (Pedersen) and Jasper (Stuyven) put me in a perfect position for the first climb. And then I had Kenny (Elissonde) there with me.
"I am motivated for the last week. Now I am looking forward to the rest day and recover a bit and hopefully have a good final week of the Tour."