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Mick Rogers struggles through

By Hedwig Kröner in Pau

Quick.Step's Michael Rogers has not been able to live up to his goals in this year's Tour de France. The time trial world champion was aiming for a top ten placing, but the tempo of the peloton, the slopes of the Pyrenees combined with extreme fatigue have made him lose over an hour to Armstrong's yellow jersey and the other GC contenders.

"I've been really tired these last couple of days, really struggling," he told Cyclingnews on the morning of stage 16 to Pau. "All I want to do now is get to Paris. The fatigue just got on top of me and it all stacked up. I'm disappointed, but that's life - I'll try again next year."

The winner of the Tour of Germany in 2003 still would like to make up for the disappointment, but knows it is not going to be easy. "The race is fairly controlled now, but if I can get into a break or have a good time trial that's going to be a bonus. I can try on the next stages, but you need to be lucky and have a good pair of legs to get into the break - it's not easy. First and foremost, I want to finish this race. I totally emptied myself..."

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