CENTRAL Victorian cycling star Zak Dempster and his NetApp-Endura team had a mixed run in the 10th stage of the Tour de France contested on Bastille Day.
On a dramatic day marked by Alberto Contador's withdrawal after a crash, Dempster and his team had plenty of work to do in the 161km battle from Mulhouse to La Planche des Belles Filles.
After starting the stage in third place on the general classification, NetApp-Endura's Tiago Machado from Portugal crashed at 100km to go.
Machado looked set to call his Tour campaign over, but then rejoined the fray with team-mate Andreas Schillinger from Germany to finish the stage.
They rolled in more than 43 minutes behind stage winner Vincenzo Nibali from Italy.
"What a day. Amazed how tough Schilli and @Tiagomachado85 were to fight like that." Dempster tweeted.
A second stage victory in the Tour put Nibali back in the yellow jersey as Tour leader.
He won arguably one of the toughest stages in the race from Frenchman Thibaut Pinot by 15 seconds.Spain's Alejandro Valverde was third at 20 seconds behind Nibali.
One of the biggest movers was Tasmania's Richie Porte. He was seventh in the stage and jumped to second place on the leaderboard.
Best placed for NetApp-Endura was Leopold Konig from the Czech Republic in eighth place, 50 seconds behind Nibali.
Dempster reached the summit in 154th place and 32.29 adrift of the stage winner.
The cycling ace who grew up in Castlemaine and Bendigo is the first cyclist from the region to race in the Tour de France.
Dempster is 159th in a field of 180 in the world's greatest road cycling race.
Best for NetApp-Endura is Konig at 21st place and 8.25 behind Nibali.
Riders take a well-earned break on Tuesday.
The 11th stage on Wednesday will be 187.5km duel from Bescanon to Oyonnax. There are four ranked climbs along the way.