Cadel Evans Battles to Magnificent Tour de France Stage Victory
Team BMC Racing's former World Champion Cadel Evans edged defending champion Alberto Contador in a photo finish Tuesday to win stage 4 of the 2011 edition of the Tour de France Grand Tour, and Garmin-Cervélo's World Champion Thor Hushovd retained the overall Tour de France lead.
sped ahead of the pack by the 9-kilometer (5.5-mile) mark, and built a lead of nearly 5 minutes on the main bunch over the next 15 kilometers (10 miles).
But as is common in flat rides, when the pack accelerates behind constantly changing front men who cut into the wind, the peloton tracked down and overtook the increasingly tired escapees with 4 kilometers left.
That set the stage for the leaders to break out alone to scale the Mur-de-Bretagne, a 2-kilometer climb with a super-steep patch known by some as the "Alpe d'Huez of Brittany" after the famous peak in the French Alps.
Team BMC Racing's Evans - supported by his teammates - and Team Saxo BankSunGard's Contador were the riders who helped prevent the stage from finishing in the hesitant, non-interesting way which we have seen other GC contenders be responsible for in previous editions of the Tour de France.
Evans and Contador showed the whole peloton who the real men in the peloton are and why they deserved to finish 1-2 in today's stage. Respect for non-hesitant riding - that's what cycling fans want to watch and read about.
Click here for complete results from stage 4.