The yellow jersey holder Roglič was the first of the top riders to launch an attack in the finale, surging off the fierce pace set by his teammates, with only a select group able to follow.
Porte surged to the front in the final few hundred metres his show of strength gapping some of the riders behind, but the pair of Pogačar and Primož Roglič were able to pass the Australian and sprint it out for the win.
Pogačar was the quickest in the dash to the line and clawed back more time on his Slovenian compatriot in the battle for yellow as he celebrated his second win of the 2020 edition of the race.
Porte meanwhile, finished third on the stage, five seconds behind the front pair, clawing back time on his general classification rivals outside of the top two and jumping up three stages on the rankings, from ninth to sixth. Part of that was due to the spectacular collapse of Egan Bernal (INEOS Grendiers) and Nairo Quintana (Areka Samsic), who both fell out of the fight for yellow after being dropped from the main bunch with 13 kilometres remaining of the Grand Colombier climb.
Porte's team Trek-Segafredo released some quotes from the Tasmanian at the stage finish after his impressive showing.
“It was nice to be able to sit on the wheels of Jumbo-Visma on the final climb and I felt pretty comfortable," said Porte. "The pace was pretty high and when Yates attacked, they never really struggled. I think they lost George Bennett, but that was it.
“I knew from doing Tour de ‘lAin, where I attacked with two kilometres to go and not really knowing the finish, so today my plan was always to sit in as long as I could. When I got to 500m to go and Roglic attacked and I had to go to the front and do my pace.
"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.”
Porte got a sighter at the Grand Colombier on Stage 3 of the Tour de l'Ain, where he finished fifth, 16 seconds behind stage-winner Roglič. The Aussie climber clearly has improved upon his form since then.
“We knew this stage pretty well from Tour de l’Ain so we knew what we were dealing with," said Porte. "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 there with me. It was a good day for the team.
“Jumbo-Visma had a good pace and it was hard to do much off that pace. At the end of the day, you almost have to look at them as your teammates when they’re that strong to control. But I am happy for today, I am motivated for the last week of the Tour. Now I am looking forward to the rest day and recover a bit and hopefully have a good last week of the Tour.”
The riders and the viewers of the Tour de France have a rest day tomorrow, racing resuming with Stage 16 on Tuesday evening with a day in the mountains again on the agenda, with a punchy climb to Villard-de-Lans the final ascent. The stage begins on the SBS ŠKODA Tour Tracker at 8.55pm AEST on Tuesday evening, with the television broadcast set to start at 9.30pm on SBS VICELAND.