David Millar rose to second place overall in the Critérium du Dauphiné, after finishing as runner-up to Janez Brajkovic in Wednesday's time trial.
However, he finished strongly and still felt he had more to give when he crossed the line - which might make him wonder if he could have narrowed the 26-second gap to Brajkovic.
But with the mountains starting on Thursday, with a summit finish at Risoul, then Alpe d'Huez to follow on Saturday, Millar hopes it means he has more strength in the tank for the climbs.
"I'm pleased with the result," said the Garmin-Transitions rider. "I was aiming for the win but I'm not disappointed with second. Reason being I felt good out there on the road and finished strong and fresh, which probably wasn't the ideal way to finish at 49-kilometre time trial. But it's a good sign considering the mountainous days ahead.
"The time trial itself was demanding, horrible bumpy roads into a block headwind, it felt so slow and I was very surprised when I came through the first time check so fast. I maybe relaxed a bit too much after that for the final part of the climb but that meant I was very fast in the final.
"I almost crashed twice. My wife was in the following car and she wasn't too impressed with my death-defying antics. Tomorrow I'll give everything and after that we'll decide how we'll tackle the rest of the race."
Brajkovic takes Dauphine time trial ahead of Millar
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