By John Trevorrow
Predictor-Lotto's Cadel Evans has mixed emotions after making a break on yesterday's Stage 9, only to be caught by the peloton. Evans, one of two remaining Australians in the peloton, currently holds fourth place on general classification, some 2.41 minutes behind yellow jersey Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank).
"Yeah, for a while there when they were coming back, I thought 'Geez I'm not going to make it up here', because it was a finish where you've really got to be fresh," he explained. "For that reason I'm actually pretty happy that I got caught, had to ride because of that stupid gap, and then be competitive in the finish there. Actually I wanted to sit up and recover and give Valverde a run for his money. But it wasn't to be, he always seems to have one or two more teammates than I have; and a faster sprint."
Evans said he's proud to be flying his nation's colours along the French event's route, and thanked his compatriots for coming out and showing their support. "Thanks everyone with an Aussie flag out there," he said. "There were plenty of them out there and I really appreciate the support and I feel honoured to be able to fly the flag in the Tour."
The GC contender is delighted with the support of his teammates but knows there's still a lot of kilometres to be ridden between their current position and the finish in France. "None of them are going to be a walk in the park," he said, referring to the Pyrenees. "I had Chris and Mario up there until the Galibier I just ask and they do their best and they've done that every single day. I'm not complaining one little bit of my team.
"I think the time trial will be the most interesting step," he added. "Then more of the same in the Pyrenees. Many battles towards the finish of the war."