Among the hubbub of the general classification fight at the Tour de France and some of the big-name sprinters missing the time cut, it would have been easy to miss that Lawson Craddock had made it to La Rosière, finishing with several of his EF Education First-Drapac teammates.
Craddock has been battling against pain since breaking his scapula in the opening stage. He made it across the four classified climbs of Wednesday's short 108-kilometre stage, finishing with the first gruppetto, just over 26 minutes behind the day's winner Geraint Thomas.
Having suffered from day one, Craddock noted that there were signs of improvement, despite the continued pain.
"Stage 10 was a really difficult day for me. I think it was a combination of a lot of things, the cobbles, the mountains, and the first day after the rest day," Craddock said after making it to La Rosière. "This was a little bit better, but still, my body has taken a bit of a beating in the last few days, but I've still made it to the finish of another Tour de France stage.
"It's the Tour de France and the mountain stages are extremely difficult. You add these short stages in and it's flat out from the gun. Fortunately, I kind of rebounded a bit from yesterday. I was a bit worried after the finish. I was really happy to make the finish today and I look forward to Alp d'Huez."
Craddock's fundraising efforts have felt the benefit of his determination as he looks to raise money to repair the Alkek Velodrome in Texas, which was destroyed by Hurricane Harvey in September last year. He has had to up his target several times and his current total is just over $107,000, with donations still coming in.
Craddock finished stage 11 to la Rosière in the same group as his team leader Rigoberto Uran, who has been suffering with his own injuries after crashing on stage 9 to Roubaix. Uran is now more than 31 minutes down on the overall classification with his GC ambitions in tatters.
"It hasn't been the Tour that we wanted but the good thing about this team is that our spirits are still high. We know that everyone put in everything they could to be in the best shape and at the top level," said Craddock. "So, the tactics will definitely change in the next coming days but the good thing about Rigo is that he's extremely level-headed.
"We're all disappointed that winning the Tour is out of the question now but everyone is still in good spirits, we still have a lot of fun at the dinner table. We're not going to let it get us down and we look forward to continuing this Tour."
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