Francaise des Jeux rider Philippe Gilbert finished fifth on yesterday's final Pyrenean stage of the Tour. He told Belgian media that he was pleased with his ride, but added that he was ticked off with Cadel Evans.
"We took off after 25km, in good company, it was a nice finale," he said in an interview with Sporza TV. "I looked at doing something on this stage; it's nice to finish 5th again in my first Tour. It's good for the team and myself. I've put in two solid efforts, it's surely beneficial to my self-confidence."
"Evans is one of the best climbers; I knew I wouldn't be able to follow him. I tried everything to get back on in the descent, but it was too fast, I wasn't able to catch on. On the last small climb I could attack again. Tomorrow I'll take it a bit easier, it's a long ride and I'll sit back a bit; I don't want to get too tired and get sick," he said.
Gilbert said that he was unhappy with Cadel Evans, as he considered that the Australian broke an agreement to keep the group together on the Aubisque. Evans attacked on the climb, cresting the summit clear of the other riders in the breakaway.
For his part, Cadel didn't deny making that promise. "I don't care about what that Gilbert has to say. I'm here to race. It's true I told them we'd climb the Aubisque in group so we could keep as much lead as possible on the flat. After the top of the climb we still had 40km to go. But we were losing time on the climb, so I decided to attack anyway. Something wrong with that? If I wouldn't have, my efforts to gain time would have been for nothing; I didn't care about winning this stage," he told Het Nieuwsblad.