Zak's team-mate charges up board

CLIMB: Leopold Konig of the Czech Reublic and Team Netapp-Endura leads Rafal Majka of Poland on Friday's 13th stage in the Tour de France. Picture: GETTY

CLIMB: Leopold Konig of the Czech Reublic and Team Netapp-Endura leads Rafal Majka of Poland on Friday's 13th stage in the Tour de France. Picture: GETTY

THE NetApp-Endura cycling team, which includes Bendigo's Zak Dempster, capped a superb start in the Alps on Friday's 13th stage of the Tour de France.

Although Dempster finished 123rd after another day of torture in the heat and big climbs, Czech team-mate Leopold Konig raced to third place overall.

Konig attacked at 10km to go with Rafal Majka.

"The first true summit finish – there was no place to hide today," Konig told the NetApp-Endura webiste.

"In any case I wanted to ride on attack, but in the end I started the attack a bit sooner than I had meant to. I felt really good in the situation, so I tried it. The others didn't follow right away and I quickly had a small gap. Then I knew I just had to give it everything I had up until the end."

He was eventually caught by Majka and Italian star and Tour leader Vincenzo Nibali who powered on to another stage victory.

"Of course I would have liked to have won the stage, but competing against Nibali is difficult," Konig said.

"That's why I'm absolutely happy with the result."

With third place in the day classification and only 11 seconds behind Nibali, the captain of the NetApp-Endura team catapulted forward in the overall rankings from 19th place to 10th at 8.38 behind Nibali.

As Konig climbed the mountain and GC, Tasmania's Richie Porte plummeted from second before the stage to 16th place.

Porte finished stage 13 at 8.48 behind Nibali as Dempster rolled in 38.38 behind the Italian champion.

Nibali starts Saturday's stage 3.37 minutes ahead of Spain's Alejandro Valverde. French young gun Romain Bardet is at -4.24.

Porte is now 16th in the Tour standings at 11.11 behind the race leader.

Dempster is 153rd in a field of 173 and will continue to play a key role for Konig.

The climbing rolls on Saturday.

Two first category mountain classifications and one of the highest category await the riders on the 177km duel from from Grenoble to Risoul.

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