Samuel Sánchez of the BMC Racing Team finished 10th in Friday's race though the Alps and climbed three places to 12th in the overall standings at the Tour de France.
Sánchez had been sitting 15th overall, 18:11 back, but rode for much of the 138-kilometer race in the group that included race leader Chris Froome (Team Sky). He went on to finish in small group that was chasing Froome and Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team), who was runner up to solo stage winner and defending champion, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team).
"In the final, I was starting to feel better and better," Sánchez said. "I am glad the team is satisfied with my performance today."
BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said the 2008 Olympic road race champion is fulfilling the team's goal of not giving up after the withdrawal of team leader Tejay van Garderen during Wednesday's stage.
Sánchez is exactly two minutes behind the rider in 10th place, Pierre Rolland (Team Europcar).
"Tomorrow, we will see if he can move up a place or two again," Ochowicz said. "He is consistent. In order to be where he is now, you had to deliver some results every day, for the past 20 days."
Sánchez said his performance Friday bodes well for the final mountain stage, a 110.5-km race that includes two major climbs, the Col de la Croix de Fer and the famed Alpe d'Huez.
"Alpe d'Huez is a special climb in cycling," he said. "We will see tomorrow what is possible. My performance today was good, but tomorrow is important for us, for the team."