World time trial champion Michael Rogers lost four minutes and 22 seconds on yesterday's tenth stage but fared better today, finishing in the same time as Lance Armstrong and most of the other GC contenders. He dug deep but says his form is improving.
"'That was a hard day," Rogers told John Trevorrow at the finish. "I backed off on the Galibier just before I did a bomb crater (blow up) in the road. I knew I would get back on the decent, so I just tried to manage myself a bit."
"I was tired but everyone is at that altitude. It is a hard climb. I am happy to finish in the front, it was a hard day. I was a bit rough on the first climb because Discovery set a very, very high tempo. There wasn't many left at all in the top. A few came back but Discovery was super again today."
Rogers let go of the lead group about 5 kilometres from the top of the Galibier, but joined up with riders such as Andreas Klöden and was able to chase back on. "I did a big descent because I know it quite well and know the corners. I probably took it a bit faster than (the other) guys. We had a good little group, set our tempo and didn't lose too much time."
"Once we were back on, the last 40km were so fast. We didn't go below 80kmh. It was amazing that Vinokourov and Botero held on. I don't know how they stayed out in front."
Rogers is hoping that his form continues to improve. "I am getting stronger," he said. "I am looking forward to the next stages... There is still a long way to the end of the Tour, but I am getting better and better."