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Quite a few people were left wondering why champagne was given out before the race had ended. Why it...
Quite a few people were left wondering why champagne was given out before the race had ended. Why it was said after the time trial that the race was lost for Evans. And why Evans didn't attack the celebrating Danish team on Sunday. The answer is a mix of tradition and race tactics.
If the race would have been conducted just like any other stage, Evans would not have been able to make up time on Carlos Sastre – barring accident, of course. In flat stages it would have been very hard for Evans to get away, especially given the strength of the CSC-Saxo Bank team.
Even if Evans would have been a lot closer to Sastre in the overall standings a move may not have worked, due to the lack of time bonuses. There was no way CSC would have left Evans out of sight.
Tradition has it that after three weeks of racing those who survived to the final day celebrate a bit. Everybody has some fun, such as Samuel Dumoulin and Stéphane Augé, who swapped their bike helmets with the helmets from the L'Equipe crew on the motor bikes. The Cofidis duo then went by the bunch to make everyone laugh, including Evans.
Of course someone could use these moments to attack. It would make the rider as popular as someone attacking in the feed zone or during a nature break. And it can likely spoil the future of a career. If Evans would have done such a move, he would not have (m)any friends left in the peloton real soon.
After three weeks it just turned out that Sastre was the strongest, with the best squad. Evans finished runner-up and will undoubtedly be back next year to try again.