La Pierre-Saint-Martin - Two-time Tour de France champion Alberto Contador says current leader Chris Froome is simply "at a higher level" than the rest of the pack right now.
"Froome is superior, and he made a strong punch today," said Contador after he lost 2 minutes, 51 seconds to the Kenya-born Briton, who won Tuesday's 10th stage.
Overall, he trails 4:04 back in sixth place.
"That's bike racing: Some days good, some days bad," Contador added.
The Spaniard's bad day was partly due to breathing troubles on the 167km course from Tarbes to the mountain resort of La Pierre-Saint-Martin.
"When you can't breathe well, you can't keep up a high rhythm in the legs," grumbled the Tinkoff Saxo Bank leader outside his team bus.