By John Trevorrow
Cadel Evans told Cyclingnews right after the stage that he felt fine but the "last little hill was a bit stressful." Not that the Australian had trouble following the pace, but or that there were any attacks from the overall contenders. "No, no just fighting for position nearing the finish. When it's not really fast then it can be congested towards the finish," Evans, who lies fourth overall, clarified.
He also confirmed that the next big showdown will be the Albi time trial, "and then rest of the week," mentioning the importance of the Pyrénées stages.
The Aussie is happy with the amount of people who want to wish him well and says they can do so on his website, cadel.com.au
As for Simon Gerrans, the only other Australian left in the race, after a string of bad accidents has eliminated the other top-level racers from Down Under, he was "a bit better today. I got in the early break and was away till about the 40-kilometre mark. There were a couple of teams that wanted to be in the break so they chased us back down again.
"I was a bit stuffed for a while after that because I'd put in a pretty big effort." Gerrans acknowledged that taking the occasional natural break isn't always the best thing to. "About the 80-kilometre mark I stopped for a (toilet stop) and the break went. Worst part was I didn't really need to go."
Like most others he thinks that "tomorrow will be a bunch gallop. The sprinters don't have many opportunities left before Paris and I reckon their teams will control it.