TWO-time runner-up Cadel Evans bemoaned his “worst day” at the Tour de France after losing nearly all hope to finally win cycling's premier race.
Like other Tour contenders, Evans was hammered by 2007 champion Alberto Contador's attack 5.6kms from the finish of the first Alpine stage from Pontarlier, France, to the Swiss ski resort of Verbier on Sunday.
The 32-year-old Australian finished in seventh place - a distant one minute, 26 seconds behind the Spaniard, who won the 15th stage and captured the race leader's yellow jersey.
Evans, who had already lost considerable time in the first two weeks of the race, rose to 14th from 19th in the overall standings in Sunday's shakeout, but is further off the lead. He's now 4:27 back, compared to 3:07 behind when the stage began.
“That was the worst day of my Tour de France in five years from kilometre zero ... on what is the most important day for the (general) classification,” he said.