Bendigo cyclist Chris Hamilton is embracing the experience of riding in his career-first Tour de France.
The 27-year-old Team DSM rider is now 56th on the general classification after Thursday night's 165.5km stage from Braincon to Alpe d'Huez.
Hamilton was 40th across the line (05:10.59) in the grueling mountain stage on Bastille Day.
"It was nuts, I am speechless," Hamilton said after the 12th stage.
"I always wondered what it would be like to do Alpe D'Huez at the Tour de France and it's just nuts."
The mountain climb has become one of the most iconic stages of the annual Tour which attracts big crowds - which Hamilton said created a great atmosphere.
Hamilton's team-mate Romain Bardet is the highest ranked Team DSM rider currently in fourth on the general classification.
Hamilton said it was a pleasure to ride alongside the Frenchman.
"He's so relaxed," Hamilton said.
"We've done a lot of racers together and we both know what to do without even talking to each other.
"He's super appreciative of everyone that's helping him out this year."
The 22-year-old British rider Tom Pidcock locked in his first Tour de France victory at the mountain stage.
The Tour continues on Friday night with a welcomed 192.6 flat stage from Le Bourg d'Oisans to Saint-Etienne.
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