Cadel Evans Tour De France
July 23, 2011 by staff
Cadel Evans Tour De France, Luxembourg’s Andy Schleck paid tribute to the Tour de France, Cadel Evans’s rival as the Australian took the coveted yellow jersey after the penultimate stage time-trial. “Cadel did the trial of his life, and deserves to win the Tour,” said Schleck, who had taken the lead in the race just 24 hours before the Frenchman Thomas Voeckler. Schleck took the 42.5 km race against the clock with a mattress 57 seconds on Evans and hoped that could take the robe floors to get to Paris on Sunday.
But against one of the trialists best time in the business, Schleck’s campaign collapsed from the mountain intermediate stage circuit technique that Evans had run last month Criterium du Dauphine during and spent many hours in material choice and the best path.
The Australian cut its deficit by 36 seconds after only 15 km and only missed the final stage victory in which he finished seven seconds behind Tony Martin of Germany.
Schleck, a specialist climber who said three weeks ago that he had “concentrated on my strengths, not my weakness,” 2min 38sec 17 to finished behind Martin and 2:31 behind Evans.
Evans now has a 1:34 lead over Schleck ahead of Sunday’s final stage, within 95 km to Paris Creteil in general that the contestants are not traditionally dispute.
Schleck had set firmly in the fight for overall victory when he won stage 18 to legendary Galibier mountain on Thursday.
Despite putting Evans briefly in trouble at the final day of climbing Alpe d’Huez Friday, the Australian ultimately lost no more time to the Luxembourg in the 19th stage.
Schleck said his performance against the clock was the best I could.
“I was very focused on this trial,” said Schleck, whose brother Frank fell one place to third overall at 2:30 behind Evans after finishing 2:24 behind Evans.
“I realized the great importance of it. We recognized this morning and remains committed to leave everything on the course.
“We know we did everything we could do in the mountains today. Both Frank and I probably did the best we’ve done time trials, but not good enough. We have no remorse in this perspective.”
Now set to claim runner-up spot for the third consecutive year, having finished second to Alberto Contador in Spain in 2009 and 2010, Schleck said he had no regrets.
“It’s disappointing in a way, but if you look at the size and importance of the tour is a real honor to be the second especially when his brother is a step down,” said Schleck.
“We expected to have a Schleck on the podium, but we are proud of each other and proud of ourselves.”
It is the best ever finish in the race to Frank Schleck, who added: “Andy and I have been talking about this for years.
“We’ve never been so close. We did the plan before coming to France, which would leave France in three weeks later without any remorse.
“We have achieved that. We knew from the beginning that there was something else as a rival Alberto Contador.
“We knew that Evans could become a real competitor and a tough guy to beat.”
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