Yellow jersey holder Bradley Wiggins finished nearly eight minutes behind a leading group of five to retain his race lead after the 226 km 12th stage between Saint-Jean-De-Maurienne and Annonay in the Ardeche. Wiggins’ Sky teammate Chris Froome stayed second overall at 2min 05sec with Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) in third at 2:23 and Australia’s Cadel Evans (BMC) fourth at 3:19.
“It’s massive. It’s been a horrific Tour for us so far,” said Millar.
Gross docked 30 points
Meanwhile, Australian Matthew Goss’ green jersey bid suffered a blow after he was docked 30 points by the officials for an irregular sprint at the end of 12th stage.
Goss is green jersey holder Peter Sagan’s biggest rival in the points competition, and got the better of the Slovakian at the intermediate sprint to begin closing his 27-point overnight deficit.