Cadel Evans of the BMC Racing Team confirmed his place in Tour de France history Sunday by becoming the first Australian to win the world’s greatest bicycle race.
‘We Did It’
After crossing the finish line in Paris, Evans was swarmed by all eight of his teammates who completed the three-week, 3,430-kilometer race. Thirty years after fellow Australian Phil Anderson first wore the yellow jersey, Evans celebrated his first win in seven Tour de France appearances. “A few people always believed in me,” Evans said. “I believed in me. And those few people and my team and the few people around me and myself are what matter most. We did it. I also have to thank all our fans, especially those who stayed up late to watch in Australia.” Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) won the final stage on the Champs Élysées in Paris.
Time Trial Was The Highlight
Evans took the lead on the penultimate day by overcoming a 57-second deficit to Andy Schleck (Leopard Trek) in the 42 km individual time trial in Grenoble. Schleck finished second overall, 1:34 behind Evans’s winning time of 86 hours, 12 minutes and 22 seconds. “For me personally, the real highlight of it all was the last three or four kilometers of the time trial,” Evans said. “The hardest part had been done until that point and coming into that finish I knew we were on the right track so that was just incredible. For once the last four km of a time trial wasn’t that hard.”
Hincapie Makes History
With Evans’s victory, George Hincapie extended his record run of being part of nine Tour de France winning teams. “I told the guys before the start today to soak up every moment, every bump, every corner, every sound you hear because it’s special and something you will remember the rest of your life,” Hincapie said. “From the chaos of the first week to the challenges we had during the mountains to the different tactical approaches the other teams were taking to the dramatic time trial at the end – it was all very special.” Hincapie previously rode with Tour de France champions Lance Armstrong (1999-2005) and Alberto Contador (2007) and has participated in a record-tying 16 Tours de France.
Regains No. 1 Ranking
By winning three of five stage races he has started this season, Evans regained the UCI WorldTour No. 1 ranking he briefly held after winning Tirreno-Adriatico. He also won the Tour de Romandie and was runner-up at the Critérium du Dauphiné. His Tour win also elevates the BMC Racing Team to No. 2 (behind Leopard Trek) in the team classification of the UCI WorldTour rankings. Joining him on the Tour de France team were Brent Bookwalter (USA), Marcus Burghardt (GER), Hincapie (USA), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Steve Morabito (SUI), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Ivan Santaromita (ITA) and Michael Schär (SUI). BMC Racing Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue was assisted in the race by Assistant Director Fabio Baldato.
The BMC Racing captures its first Tour de France title in only its second appearance in the race. Co-Owner Andy Rihs said the organization put all of its effort into surrounding Evans with the best people and resources he needed to win his first Tour de France. “I’m extremely delighted, as is the whole team, but the happiest man on the planet must be Cadel,” Rihs said. “It’s a great satisfaction to finally have this dream come true. Cadel had potential and he showed it. He fought every day and it’s a historic effort for him and the whole BMC Racing Team.”