By Gregor Brown in Toulouse with assistance from John Trevorrow
Australian Cadel Evans, second overall in the Tour de France, is waiting for the high-mountains on Sunday and Monday to take the next step towards the maillot jaune. Despite stage eight from Figeac to Toulouse being one of the most treacherous days with undulating, winding, wet and slippery roads, Evans stayed out of trouble.
"One more step and another selection will be made amongst the GC contenders," 31 year-old Evans said Saturday morning in Figeac before stage eight. After, he added, "I certainly am glad to get that day out of the way. That was a gnarly finale and it was actually very treacherous in the final 10kms."
Team Silence-Lotto's Evans was the heavy favourite heading into the race. Second behind Kim Kirchen of Team Columbia, he is the highest placed of the overall race favourites. He is ahead of Denis Menchov (Rabobank) by 57" and of Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) by 1'06".
The Tour de France enters the high-mountains with a stage to Bagnères de Bigorre on Sunday and a mountaintop arrival to Hautacam the next day. The stages will provide space for the race contenders to sort out the overall classification.
"I look towards those stages with interest and a little bit of anxiety," Evans said. "I just hope it doesn't rain."