Linus Gerdermann trailed in 3:55 down on the leaders in today’s 159km stage from Martigny to Bourg-Saint-Maurice, but says he will come back stronger and better prepared for next year’s race.
After winning a stage in the 2007 Tour and wearing the yellow jersey, big expectations have been placed on Gerdemann's shoulders. This year’s race hasn’t gone to plan for the young Milram rider, who has been distanced by the leaders in both the Pyrenees and the Alps.
"It’s not going great," Gerdermann said at the end of the stage.
The German broke is leg in last year’s Tirenno-Adriatico but rallied to take his home Tour. A subsequent move from Columbia to Milram followed at the end of 2009 and, with Gerolsteiner folding, Gerdemann found himself a part of the only German ProTour team within the peloton.
Despite the move to a 'native' team, Gerdemann has taken time to settle in his new surroundings and endured a difficult Tour de Suisse in preparation for this year’s Tour de France. "I had problems in front of the Tour with my training but I still have aspirations for the Grand Tours. If you’re not ready at the startline it’s very difficult."
"I think I’m getting a little bit stronger as the race goes on but if you’re not strong from the start it’s makes a big difference. It was a tough day and there are still some tough days."
However Gerdermann brushed off the claims that he’s under too much pressure to perform from his team - who’ve not won a stage in year’s race - or a nation that hasn’t had a Tour winner since Jan Ulrich in 1997. "I put pressure on myself but there’s none coming from the team as they understand. I know I made some mistakes in the Tour and my training, but I’ve learnt a lot from it and I’ll be better next year."