Aussie, Aussie, Aussie: Cadel Evans is in Yellow

Stage 20 — Time Trial: After two second places in the Tour de France, Australian former World Champion Cadel Evans is in Yellow one day before the race finishes in Paris.

In the time trial, an event he excels in as he did in the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, Cadel took so much time out of Andy Schleck, his lead is now over a minute and half after going into the stage almost a minute down on Schleck.

Evans finished the stage in second place, only seven seconds behind German rider Tony Martin and almost a minute in front of former Tour champion, Alberto Contador who as third. At 34, Cadel will, should he still be in yellow after tomorrow’s final stage which should be a formality, be the first Australian to win the Tour de France and with his success also in the Worlds, he is undoubtedly that country’s best ever cyclist.

Finishing so close to the time of Winner Tony Martin in the time trial, Cadel was already in virtual yellow after only half the time trial had been completed and he carried on giving it full gas, getting a little ragged at times on the bends, until he crossed the line two and half minutes faster than Andy Schleck.  In previous Tour’s, Evans was second to Alberto Contador losing by just 23 seconds and then second in 2008 by just 58 seconds to Carlos Sastre.

“I really can’t quite believe it” Evans said afterwards. “I have been concentrating on one event for so long.  I’ve still got to cross the finish line in Paris tomorrow; that’s my main focus right now – getting through that without any trouble. Today I went through the processes as we always do – follow the plan, do the best we can and see what we come up with. We were a few seconds short for the stage but when I have time to reflect on it I think I’ll see it as pretty special.”

It was notable that every Aussie in the peloton, no matter what team they rode for, was seemingly willing Evans on with the Aussie getting lots of encouragement both here in Europe and home in Australia.


Germany’s Tony Martin racked up HTC-Highroad’s fifth stage win of the Tour de France on Saturday, when he powered to victory in the race’s final time trial in Grenoble. Already the time trial winner over an identical route in the Criterium du Dauphine in June, Martin clinched top place yet again in July after taking the fastest times at all the intermediate checkpoints. Second was Australian, Cadel Evans and third Alberto Contador of Spain.

With his time of fifty-five minutes and thirty-three seconds, just six seconds slower than when he won the same time trial in the Dauphine, Martin said afterward that he could not be happier with his first Tour de France stage victory.  “When I found I couldn’t follow the overall contenders in the mountains, my only goal was a time trial win today,” Martin said, “Today I got the win and this is a really nice finish for the Tour de France for me.”

“I learned a lot from the time trial in the Dauphine, it really helped. I was stronger than in the Dauphine even if my legs were suffering from the Tour, and I felt more tired than four weeks ago.” HTC-Highroad has now clinched five stages in the Tour de France this year; four for Mark Cavendish and one with Martin.

For the British riders, David Millar, who is reported to have bronchitis, was in 32nd, 3.41 behind the winner with Geraint Thomas @4.24 in 46th, Ben Swift @7.14 in 130th, and Green jersey wearer, Mark Cavendish @8.35 in 156th.

Reactions from Team Sky:

Geraint Thomas: “I felt every kilometre of that, it was one day too many for me I think. I was tired today but it’s been a great three weeks for the team. It all caught up with me today, that’s for sure. It’s easy to say ‘what if’ but Bradley was in the form of his life and definitely turned it around from last year. Hopefully he’ll be back next year, he’s got a few years left in him so he’ll get a chance to show what he’s really capable of. I had a few good days in the mountains which is definitely good for the confidence and something to really work towards in the future.”

Edvald Boasson Hagen: “It’s really sad what has happened back home and unbelievable. At the moment we’re all in this Tour de France bubble and it hasn’t sunk in yet, it’s hard to comprehend what’s happened. I just feel so, so sorry for all the people that have been involved in this tragedy. Myself and Thor [Hushovd] are supporting each other through this time, and I also have the support of my team-mates. I found out after I finished the stage yesterday and it was shocking to hear, these things shouldn’t happen in Norway. During the stage I just tried to concentrate as much as possible but my thoughts are with everyone back at home.”

Sean Yates, Team Sky Sports Director “Edvald had a mechanical issue. The tri-bar extension came loose from the handlebar for some reason. So that was not much use and he had to have a bike change. G also had to stop but he wasn’t on it today. For him it was one day too many I think. He tried hard the last two days in the Alps and it was just a little bit too much. The other guys just got round as best they could. It was a hard course. All the excitement was around the GC fight and Tony Martin pulled out a great time to win. In a way it is a bit of an anti-climax. There is the old saying that you are only as good as your last race. That’s not really true but you kind of forget we’ve had a fantastic Tour. There’s one stage to go so we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

Previous Stages
STAGE 1 | STAGE 2 | STAGE 3 | STAGE 4 |  STAGE 5 | STAGE 6 | STAGE 7 | STAGE 8 | STAGE 9 | STAGE 10 |
| STAGE 11 | STAGE 12 | STAGE 13 | STAGE 14 | STAGE 15 | STAGE 16 | STAGE 17 | STAGE 18 | STAGE 19 |

Results Stage 20 – 42 km Time Trial

1. Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) 55:33
2. Cadel Evans (BMC) 55:40
3. Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Sungard) 56:39
4. Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DC) 57:02
5. Richie Porte (Saxo Bank-Sungard) 57:03
6. Jean-Christophe Peraud (AG2R) 57:06
7. Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) 57:10
8. Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) 57:15
9. Peter Velits (HTC-Highroad) 57:36
10. Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) 57:36

17. Andy Schleck (Leopard Trek) @2.38

1. Cadel Evans,  BMC Racing Team
2. Andy Schleck, Leopard Trek     @1:34
3. Fränk Schleck, Leopard Trek     @02:30
4. Thomas Voeckler, Team Europcar     @3:20
5. Alberto Contador, Bank Sungard @3:57
6. Samuel Sanchez, Euskaltel-Euskadi  @4:55
7. Damiano Cunego, Lampre – ISD     @6:05
8. Ivan Basso, Liquigas-Cannondale @7:23
9. Thomas Danielson, Team Garmin-Cervelo @8:15
10. Jean-Christophe Peraud, AG2R La Mondiale @10:11

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