Cadel Evans (BMC) finished stage ten to Gap safely with the peloton, and the Australian appears hopeful that the fractured elbow he sustained on Sunday will not prevent him from finishing the Tour de France.
In spite of his injury, Evans put up a heroic defence of the yellow jersey on stage nine before ultimately succumbing on the Madeleine. The World Champion had a considerably less dramatic time of it on Bastille Day. “I felt much better today but obviously it wasn’t nearly as difficult a stage as the Madeleine,” a relaxed Evans said after the stage.
Evans’ morale had been helped by a conversation with a Tour veteran. “Speaking with my manager Tony Rominger last night he said that the Madeleine was the hardest climb in the world for him so that made me feel a little better about everything yesterday,” Evans explained.
Evans refused to contemplate withdrawing from the race at this point. “I think I’ll have to have some more x-rays in a couple of days to see if there’s any displacement. It’s a question for the radiologists, but feeling better today is a good sign,” he said. “It’s only a small fracture but obviously riding the Tour de France isn’t the easiest thing in the world.”
Evans also revealed that while he lost the Tour on the climb of the Madeleine, the descents of stage nine did not help his cause.
“The thing that was difficult yesterday [due to the fractured elbow] was the descents and on the rest day, I couldn’t go training because we were staying up in the mountains and we could only ride downhill."