Andrew Talansky's satisfaction after the cobbled stage of the Tour de France was easy to see as he warmed down on the rollers under the canopy of the Garmin-Sharp bus. He arrived tired, wet and dirty but after a quick change he was smiling and satisfied.
The American lost a precious 2:02 to Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) but was happy to have survived the cobbles.
"It was an epic day and one I'll remember for the rest of my life," Talansky said to the media at the Garmin-Sharp bus.
"It wasn't a day that could win the Tour but it absolutely was a day that you cold lose the Tour. We came through unscathed and in a good position.
"It went incredibly well for us. My team was with me all day. We brought a team that was well prepared for this stage. We had Sebastian Langeveld – a top ten in Paris-Roubaix and Johan Vansummeren – a Paris-Roubaix winner. They were with me in the last ten kilometres and I couldn't have asked for a better group of guys to get me through."
Talansky moved up to ninth overall, 2:05 down on Nibali.
"I'm very pleased with that. If you look at the list of guys up there, a lot of them are going to be gone when we get to the mountains and aren't going to play a factor in the overall GC, so we're sitting pretty well," he said.
Chris Froome was the only rider not to finish the stage, and like his fellow Grand Tour contenders Talansky was sorry that the defending Tour winner is no longer in the race.
"It's really disappointing that Froome's out," he said.
"That's always a risk with a stage like this. I came through and I can say it was an epic day but it's really sad for the race as a whole as well as for Chris and Sky.
"There was panic the whole stage it was panic for 155km. I really had no idea of what happened behind me. I kept looking ahead of me and stayed with my guys. I took one little detour into the ditch but came away unscathed."