Cadel Evans (BMC) grabbed the overall lead at the Tour de France with a solid ride on the climb to Avoriaz on Sunday, and the World Champion was in relaxed mood when he spoke in Morzine this morning. It is the second time in his career that Evans has spent a rest day in the yellow jersey and the experience garnered in 2008 is standing him in good stead this time around.
“Getting the yellow jersey at the Tour is always something special, and swapping the rainbow jersey for the yellow jersey is a rare honour,” said Evans.
Remarkably, the experienced Australian has now held the leader’s jersey in each of the last three Grand Tours: the 2010 Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, and the 2009 Vuelta a España.
Evans joined the BMC team in the wake of his world title-winning ride in Mendrisio last September and he was keen to dedicate his success to his new squad.
“It’s for all the team and for all the work that went into building this team. It’s really just a nice reward for everyone,” said Evans. “It was so nice to be able to walk down to the dinner table with the yellow jersey and give it to [assistant sports director] Jacques Michaud, whose birthday it was.”
Sunday wasn’t completely without incident for Evans, however, as he was among the fallers in a crash in the early kilometres of the stage. His injuries required the attention of the race doctor and Evans will be hoping to take advantage of the rest day to aid his recovery.
“I have a very sore left forearm, but the legs are still going which is the important thing,” Evans explained. “It’s a little bit uncomfortable right now, but hopefully by tomorrow it’ll come around and after a good night’s sleep I should be alright. I’ll try to take it as easy as possible [during the rest day] and I’ll have a lot of physiotherapy on my left arm.”
Evans starts tomorrow’s stage over the Col de la Madeleine to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne with an advantage of 0:20 over Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) and 1:01 over Alberto Contador (Astana).