Former Tour de France winner Cadel Evans admitted that his general classification hopes are over after a challenging Stage 8 in which he lost over four minutes.
When you see 20 guys riding away from you you know you are a long way off the pace.
Evans lost his BMC team support on the Col du Pailheres then later cracked on Ax 3 Domaines. The Australian eventually finished 26th, losing 4min 14sec to stage winner and new race leader Chris Froome (Sky).
"Sky, they just rode a tempo that was really consistent, from when they started on the Pailheres to the bottom of the following climb. Not many people could match it," said Evans.
"It's my worst day at the Tour while I'm healthy. I knew I wasn't at my best but I certainly didn't expect to be this far off."
"When you see 20 guys riding away from you you know you are a long way off the pace.
"GC is over."
It was an even tougher day for Evans' team-mate Tejay van Garderen, winner of the best young rider classification at the race last year. The American suffered in the heat and finished over 12 minutes behind Froome.
"The heat really started getting to me, which is strange because I'd done a lot to prepare for the heat with the sauna and I've had good rides in California and San Luis, which were all really hot," van Garderen said. "So I didn't think that was going to be an issue. But for some reason, today, it really seemed to affect me."
SBS will broadcast all stages of the Tour de France live.