JAY McCarthy was happy to cross the line fifth on Sunday morning (AEST) but the Maryborough product believes he could have finished even higher.
The BORA-hansgrohe rider is in his first Tour de France campaign. He started the series as one of team leader Peter Sagan's supporting cast, but given the world champion's disqualification McCarthy was given the chance to chase victory in Stage 14.
"I knew I had just one bullet in today's stage and that was the final, uphill 600m," McCarthy said.
"I had to stay calm during the day and avoid any unnecessary moves that would make me spend energy and jeopardise our goal. The team did a brilliant job in protecting me and setting me up for the finish.
"Ideally, I could have been a bit closer to the front but I think I was well positioned in the final corner, as I was able to keep my momentum and pass many riders that were struggling in the tough climb."
The team will pursue a stage victory in the final week of competition.
Fellow Australian and Team Sunweb rider Michael Matthews won the stage