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Gerrans getting by

The scenery was stunning on stage 14

The scenery was stunning on stage 14 (Image credit: Sirotti)

"My legs aren't too bad"

By Gregor Brown in Montgailhard with additional reporting by John Trevorrow

"I am okay," said Australian Simon Gerrans at the start of stage 14 to Plateau de Beille. The 27 year-old went down with team leader and French Champion, Christophe Moreau, in a gusty Tour de France stage to Montpellier, but he is determined to do all he can for Team Ag2r in the Pyrenean stages ahead.

The rider from the Victorian Alps was worried about the 197-kilometre stage on tap. "At the moment I am okay, but it might be a little bit different in about ten kilometres," he noted with concern to Cyclingnews.

After the stage, he said, "Tough day today. It went out of the blocks up the cat 2 which hurt. Then things settled down until the Hors Cat where the bunch split up. I ended up back in the grupetto and we finished at around 35 minutes down." Gerrans ended up with Moreau. The duo will have to focus on two remaining stages, Monday and Wednesday, the day after the rest day.

He welcomed the sunny start in Mazamet, home of Laurent Jalabert, after Saturday's rain-soaked time trial affair. "There was no point in me going flat out yesterday. I am a long way down on the GC and so there is a no use hurting myself any more than I had too. It rained on me from start to finish."

He had seen time trial World Champ Cancellara slide-out in a right-hander but he explained his day out was a lot less intense. "He went really close a couple of times. He did not back it off at all, he just kept pushing it and he eventually went down. It was the last sort of tricky corner where he went down.

"I took it really easy on the descent to avoid crashing. It was only that first descent that was tricky." Gerrans finished with a time of 9'30" down over the 54 kilometres. "So, otherwise, I just rode tempo to the finish, it was a long way."

Gerrans and Moreau will focus on taking a mountain stage for the team. Gerrans explained that Moreau's lost time might help his escape chances. "He was on a really bad day. After his crash, he was shook up a bit. Now he has nothing to lose, he is a long way down on GC so I think he will be looking for a stage win. ... The next three days are going to be hard, and I am not really worried about any particular stage. My legs aren't too bad."

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