By Gregor Brown in Alpe d'Huez
With the Tour de France's high-mountains over, Italy's Alessandro Ballan eyes his last two chances for success Thursday's stage to Saint Étienne and Friday's to Montluçon.
"Tomorrow and the day after are both days that suit me and I will try in both of them," said Ballan, a 28 year-old racer for Team Lampre, to Cyclingnews.
Ballan, winner of the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Hamburg Cyclassics last year, had his closest chance in this year's Tour on stage 11 to Foix. He made the escape group and contended in a group of three for the sprint only to come up with third.
Thursday and Friday are Ballan's only chance as Saturday is a time trial and Sunday usually ends in a bunch sprint.
"I am going well and I hope to at least have another chance to make an escape to try to battle for a win. Tomorrow will be very trying because there is not one metre of flat. We will see who comes up and who is in condition."