Tasmanian Richie Porte came fourth in the Tour de France's first individual time trial (ITT) to regain some of the pride lost on Sunday when he plummeted out of overall contention.

Sky's Porte finished 1:09 behind teammate and race leader Chris Froome who was just 12 seconds slower than stage winner Tony Martin (Omega Pharma).

Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil) slotted in at third.

Martin's average speed of 54.27 km/h was the third-quickest ever on the Tour with only Greg LeMond of the USA in 1989 and Britain's David Millar in 2003 going faster.

Before the 11th stage Porte was hoping for a good result to boost his morale after a tough weekend in the Pyrenees.

Sky was pleased with the 28-year-old's fourth place tweeting afterwards: "What a great ride."

The Tasmanian covered the 33km course in 37:50.

Teammate Froome, who won Olympic time trial bronze in London last year, said he'd also achieved what he set out to do.

"I'm very happy with the time I set," the Kenyan-born Briton said.

"The objective today was to try and take the maximum time possible from my rivals. I hope to keep it in the next days."

Former winner Cadel Evans (BMC) moved up two places on the general classification (GC) to 14th after the ITT.

Like everyone except Martin he lost further time to Froome and now sits 6:54 behind. But the Australian isn't giving up hope.

"I think we will get a few chances," he said post-stage.

"In the last four days (of the race) we will give everything."

Evans said Wednesday's time of 38:59 was neither bad nor good.

"I didn't have it in the legs today to do better.

"At the moment that's my level."

Evans, who won the Tour in 2011, said he was looking forward to the four tough stages in the Alps beginning Sunday and the final ITT into Chorges.

"From here on in if I can just keep consistently moving up on the GC towards Paris that's what we hope and plan to do."

Saxo-Tinkoff's Alberto Contador, considered Froome's biggest rival ahead of Wednesday's race against the clock, only managed to finish 15th at 2:15.

The Spaniard jumped up two places to fourth overall but has gone from being 1:51 behind Froome to 3:54 in arrears.

Countryman Alejandro Valverde began the day at 1:25 behind Froome but despite remaining in second place overall the Movistar team leader is now 3:25 back.

Canberra's Michael Rogers (Saxo-Tinkoff) was Australia's second best rider on Wednesday.

The triple ITT world champion finished 20th on the stage just four seconds ahead of Evans.

The Tour now has three relatively flat stages where the sprinters and opportunists can shine.

Australian outfit Orica-GreenEdge will be hoping Tasmanian sprinter Matt Goss can finally snare a stage win.

 

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