Starting yesterday's 15th stage 11th overall, Liberty Seguros rider Jörg Jaksche was eyeing a possible place in the top ten of the general classification. However, he ran out of steam on the final climb up to Saint-Lary-Soulon, finishing 33rd at 14'28 behind the day's winner George Hincapie. He dropped four places in the general classification and so will start 15th overall on Tuesday.
"I blew on the last climb and felt very bad in the final seven kilometres," he said, "although I did recover a bit for the last two of those. I was strong at the start of the stage, riding comfortably in the front group, but at the end lacked strength and could not stay with them. These climbs are a bit too difficult for me as I am not a climber. I've also felt a build-up of fatigue from all the days racing."
Jaksche will try to recover as best he can on today's rest day, then plans to ride aggressively in the Massif Central. "From this point on my plan is to get into a breakaway and try to get back a few places in GC. We are heading into stages which are very hard and difficult for the peloton to control."
Allan Davis is also aiming to do something before the end of the Tour. He showed his good form when he infiltrated the breakaway on yesterday's stage, eventually crossing the line in 20th place.
"I got into the break to help my companions, though I knew that it was a very hard stage," he said. "I did well over the first three climbs, but in the Peyresourde I lost contact with the front guys and did the rest of the stage alone. I knew the last three climbs because I have come to train here this year, but the last part was very tough because I cracked a bit. Anyway, I am satisfied because in last few days I have had good sensations. I want to take advantage of my good condition to do something in the stages between here and Paris."
Best placed of the Liberty Seguros team yesterday was Alberto Contador, who finished 36th. Roberto Heras and Joseba Beloki each had another hard day, with the latter losing contact with the bunch on the second climb and riding practically the whole stage alone.