Cadel Evans lost 4:13 on stage 8 of the Tour de France and languished in 23rd position ahead of stage 9 to Bagnères-de-Bigorre but a dogged ride during Movistar’s all-out offensive followed by a defensive stance on the final climb of Hourquette d’Ancizan saw the Australian finish alongside the main overall race contenders.
The 2011 Tour winner now sits 16th overall, 4:36 down. As he warmed down in the shade by the BMC bus Evans spoke about what he felt had been a bizarre stage after Garmin and then Movistar took the fight to Sky.
The British team crumbled on the first two climbs, leaving Froome isolated for much of the stage, with the race leader forced to cover a number of moves.
Evans, with his confidence partially restored now heads into the rest day happier, and admitted that "he will keep his hopes alive and quitting is not an option."