Cadel Evans Powers to Overall Tour de France Lead in Decisive Time Trial

News & Results

07/23/2011| 0 comments
by Roadcycling.com - with additional commentary by AP
Emotional and well-deserved Tour de France winner Cadel Evans (Team BMC Racing) on the Tour podium in Grenoble. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Emotional and well-deserved Tour de France winner Cadel Evans (Team BMC Racing) on the Tour podium in Grenoble. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Cadel Evans Powers to Overall Tour de France Lead in Decisive Time Trial

Germany's Tony Martin secured Team HTC-HighRoad its fifth stage win of the 2011 Tour de France earlier this afternoon when he powered to victory in the Tours's final individual time trial from Grenoble to Grenoble.

Germany's Tony Martin secured Team HTC-HighRoad its fifth stage win of the 2011 Tour de France earlier this afternoon when he powered to victory in the Tours's final individual time trial from Grenoble to Grenoble.

Already the time trial winner over an identical route in the Criterium du Dauphine Libere 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 of Team BMC Racing finishing seven seconds behind Martin. Third place finisher was Alberto Contador of Team Saxo Bank-SunGard (Spain).

With his time of fifty-five minutes and thirty-three seconds, impressively just six seconds slower than when he won the same time trial in the Criterium du Dauphine, Martin said afterward that he could not be happier with his first Tour de France stage victory after almost three weeks on the bike.

"When I found I couldn't follow the overall contenders in the mountains, my only goal was a time trial win today," Martin told Roadcycling.com and Roadcycling.mobi and added "Today I got the win and this is a really nice finish in 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 (during the identical time trial)."

Evans seized the Tour de France yellow jersey after an inspiring and moving performance in the next-to-last stage of the race, all but giving Australia its first victory in cycling's showpiece event and capping one of the most dramatic races in years.

The two-time Tour de France runner-up took the overall lead by overcoming a 57-second deficit to Andy Schleck of Luxembourg and Team Leopard-Trek in the time trial.

A red-eyed Evans choked up on the victory podium, clearly moved and trying to hold back tears before hurling the winner's bouquet into the crowd.

"I really can't quite believe it right now," 34-year-old Evans told Roadcycling.com and Roadcycling.mobi and added "I have been concentrating on this one event for so long."

Although there is one more stage - Sunday's ceremonial finish to and on the Champs-Elysees in Paris - the leader after the time trial is almost certain to be the winner. Launching a successful attack during that flat ride is virtually impossible and the final stage is known for its sprint finishes.

This year's edition of the 108-year-old Tour de France Grand Tour has been tense all the way - a riveting finish and without the serious doping blights that marred past Tours.

The riders set off Saturday in reverse order of the standings. Andy Schleck had the benefit of riding last, and said beforehand that he'd have the added inspiration of wearing yellow.

By the first intermediate time check at the 9.3-mile mark, Evans had already erased 36 seconds of his deficit to Andy Schleck and was 34 seconds faster than the elder Schleck.

At the second, at 17.1 miles, Andy Schleck's lead

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