Sitting in tenth position going into the ninth stage of the Tour de France, Michael Rogers had good hopes of being able to defend his top 10 position. The Australian rider quickly found out he was facing a hard task as his legs didn't respond on the day's final Alpine challenge, the Col de la Madeleine.
"I had a terrible day. I just couldn't change pace at all. I don't know why. I felt good yesterday in the rest day. I just felt empty the whole day," Rogers said.
On the 25.5-kilometre long climb, Rogers was one of the first GC riders to drop out of the remains of the peloton. The Australian started a mental war with the illustrious French climb and fought his way up on his own. "I just strived to ride within myself. At the start of the Madeleine I let them go, then I kind of came back.
"I just tried to manage it and limit my losses as much as I could and tried avoid going into the red too much. I lost a bit of time at the start [of the climb], but caught back most of the guys at the top," Rogers said.
After a bad day during the toughest mountain stage in the Alps, Rogers didn't know what to expect for tomorrow's medium mountain stage to Gap. "First, I have to recover from today. I had a bad day today, but I might have a good day tomorrow. You just don't know how they're going to come."
At the end of the stage Rogers finished in a group together with other GC contenders like Bradley Wiggins and Carlos Sastre, losing 4:55 on the lead group behind winner Sandy Casar. The result moves Rogers down four positions into 14th overall, at 7:04 from race leader Andy Schleck.
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