Cadel Evans has described his Tour de France time reduction as “extremely disappointing”, but stays defiant about his title hopes.
The defending champion slipped from 2nd to fourth on the total standings right after finishing 11th on an epic stage via the Alps.
He is now three minutes and 19 seconds behind race leader Brad Wiggins.
“On the last climb, I lost a quite disappointing quantity of time to my principal rivals,” he said in a post on his website.
“Not some thing that pleases me in any way, (but) we continue on the exact same even though.
“We even now have a lot much more racing to go, certainly becoming more than 3 minutes down is lengthy way from ideal – it really is far from in excess of yet.”
Evans was stony-faced and did not communicate to the media quickly after the summit finish at La Toussuire.
He and BMC teammates Amael Moinard and Tejay van Garderen produced a bold attacking move on the Col du Glandon, about 84km into the 148km stage, and that put some rivals under strain.
But Wiggins’ Sky team was able to shut down the assault.
Evans admitted he was lacking his greatest type.
“Challenging old day these days … mountains all day – quite possibly a possibility for an early assault to work, and a sound pace from start off to finish made for probably the most physically demanding day of this year’s race so far,” he explained.
“We had a very good early move going on the 2nd climb … but I was not getting my finest day.
“So while (we) may possibly have caused havoc behind, it was not a move to make any distinction for the principal GC (common classification) contenders.”
Quickly right after the stage, van Garderen talked up Evans’ potential to bounce back and BMC director John Lelangue promised to keep fighting.
“We will keep fighting until finally the final second,” Lelangue mentioned.
“It is finding a lot more and much more challenging.
“A lot more than 3 minutes is difficult, now you have the time trial at the end.”
Whereas Evans knew he had an benefit in the time trial above Andy Schleck on the 2nd-last stage a year ago, now Wiggins is the man to beat in that discipline.
But van Garderen was upbeat, saying Sky had also shown indicators of weakness.
“It truly is the very first time that Wiggins was isolated and if we can do that again on the up coming mountain stage and Cadel’s legs come back to him, then anything at all is nonetheless achievable,” he stated.
“Cadel is mentally powerful so he won’t allow right now bother him.”