Tour de France: Cadel Evans set to become first Aussie to win Tour
Saturday 23 July 2011
Cadel Evans seized the Tour de France leader's yellow jersey after the next-to-last stage today, all but securing the first victory by an Australian in cycling's greatest race.
The 34-year-old veteran, a two-time runner-up, took the lead by overcoming a 57-second deficit to Andy Schleck of Luxembourg in the time trial in and near Grenoble.
On the victor's podium, a red-eyed Evans was choked up, holding back tears before hurling the winner's bouquet into the crowd.
"I really can't quite believe it right now," said Evans. "I have been concentrating on one event for so long."
The Schleck brothers, knowing they had lost, embraced after the finish line. Overall, Evans now leads Andy Schleck by 1:34, and Frank Schleck by 2:30.
The race ends Sunday in Paris in what is expected to be a largely ceremonial ride.
The 20th stage was won by Tony Martin of Germany.
By the first intermediate time check at the 15-kilometer (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 27.5 kilometers (17.1 miles), Andy Schleck's lead had vanished — Evans was 1:32 faster. The Luxembourg rider wasn't even among the 10 fastest riders who had crossed that point.
By the end, Evans finished second to Martin — seven seconds behind — and was 2:31 faster than Andy Schleck.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
Latest in Sport
Think before you ink: Manchester United fan gets Sir Alex Ferguson tattoo - and will regret it for the rest of his life
Paul Scholes column: Rio Ferdinand and John Terry row was bad but they could have kept playing for England
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal: Mesut Ozil given the worst rating possible by German newspaper Bild after poor performance
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Bayern Munich vs Manchester City report: Jerome Boateng thrashes home winner against former team
- 2 Scottish referendum results: David Cameron set to unveil major devolution of powers to England
- 3 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 4 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Are you a Teacher looking fo...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Leicester: Are you a Newly Qualified Teacher lo...
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Part Time Primary TeacherOur...
£7 - £8 per hour: Randstad Education Cheshire: The Job:School Science Technici...