Trek-Segafredo off the pace in Rodez Tour de France finish

When the 2015 Tour de France finished in Rodez, John Degenkolb finished in fourth place while Alberto Contador was eighth. Two years on, the now Trek-Segafredo teammates were 36th and 24th respectively.

Contador also conceded time to his GC rivals, bar Fabio Aru (Astana), as gaps opened inside the final 500 metres but remains in tenth place overall.

"I was a bit far in the back, and yeah, there were some gaps. It's evident that I don't like to lose time. I started a little too far back, and I saw Aru which surprised me, but then I still could move up quite some places," said Contador.

Contador clawed back time lost in the opening week in the explosive Bastille Day stage into Foix to move into tenth on Friday and explained he is looking forward to the second rest day ahead of the crucial third week.

"The three-second rule doesn't apply today because it was an uphill finish. Tomorrow is another tough day. For me basically I want to get safely through the stage and then benefit from the rest day to recover as much as possible," said Contador of the effects from his crashes.

The two-time Tour de France winner is 5:37 minutes down on Chris Froome and 28 seconds in arrears of ninth placed Louis Meintjes while George Bennett is over one minute behind in 11th place.

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While Contador is looking forward to the rest day before targeting a stage win in the Alps, Degenkolb is also aiming for a third-week stage but on the flatter parcours. The German has won stages at the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana and had specifically targeted stage 14 for success.

"I died in the last 200 meters. I was very motivated for this stage, so I tried really hard. I was up there until the end, I had a good position, but eventually I didn't have the legs to go until the top at that crazy speed," he said. "Of course I am disappointed not to have been able to fight for the victory. It is how it is. I don't think I did anything wrong; it was just a matter of not having the legs."

The 28-year-old added he also is suffering from a previous crash, in the stage 4 finale when he hit a falling Mark Cavendish, but will continue all the way to Paris to secure a stage win.

"It has been a tough Tour for me until now. I believe the crash has caused a little setback for me and of course in the previous weeks, I worked hard for Alberto. But it is what it is, I will keep trying, the Tour is not over yet. We have to see how it goes after the rest day. The stage on Tuesday could be a good stage, so will the day before the TT, and Paris of course."

Should Contador and Degenkolb get up for stage wins in the third week, they will have to do so without teammate Fabio Felline who withdrew from the race on stage 14 due to illness.

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