Evans just hoping to reach Paris
Tour de France shorts: Fuglsang cements Tour top-10 finish
Cadel Evan's hopes of overall victory at the Tour de France have turned into a battle for survival, with the 2011 winner and BMC team leader now just hoping to make it Paris.
The 36 year-old Australian fought hard to finish third at the Giro d'Italia in May, convinced that the Italian Grand Tour would give him the form to fight for victory in July. However his form faded gradually during the Tour despite fighting to try and be competitive.
Evans fell out of contention mid-race and finished stage 19 in the gruppetto, 35:24 down on stage winner Rui Costa (Movistar). He is now 36th overall, 1:13:00 behind Chris Froome (Team Sky).
"I started exhausted and only became more exhausted as the stage went on," he admitted in his diary.
"It was a very long and tiring [day] and certainly [it was] not the group I wanted to be finishing this sort of stage in," he said according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
"I don't expect any miracles and I came into this third week absolutely exhausted," he said. "At this point I just hope I can finish and get to Paris.
"If I can be of some help for my teammates that would already be something for me at this point. No expectations."
Cavendish on the Dutch Corner
Mark Cavendish is not a favourite of the Dutch fans, having wiped out Tom Veelers (Argos-Shimano) in the sprint of the Tour's 10th stage. The Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider was cleared of any blame by race organisers, but various onlookers have disagreed with that decision, choosing to express their opinions by such actions as spraying him with urine during the time trial.
So the obvious question was how Cavendish would experience the “Dutch Corner” on l'Alpe d'Huez on Thursday on the two climbs. Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM) took it upon himself to find out, and tweeted the response.
“This morning i asked @MarkCavendish how was the dutch corner yesterday. His answer: "not to bad they only called me asshole twice" #letour”
Surgery for AG2R-La Mondiale riders
AG2R-La Mondiale's two Tour de France crash victims both need surgery. Jean-Christophe Peraud, who crashed both before and during Wednesday's time trial, has a “displaced fracture of the distal end of the right clavicle.” His operation will be Monday in Lyon, the French team has confirmed.
Teammate Maxime Bouet did not take to the start of the sixth stage. The team said that he has “a non-displaced lower end left radius articular fracture.” A recent examination 10 days after his crash “showed the need for prompt surgical intervention.” He is expected to be out of racing for a month and a half.
Bauer, Sieberg injury update
Jack Bauer of Garmin-Sharp crashed face-first into a barbed-wire fence during Friday's 19th stage, and had to abandon the race. The team announced the extent of his injuries.
“Jack has 8 stitches across his upper lip, 2 on his forehead and one on his chin. He has multiple abrasions to his face and lips,” said team doctor Kevin Sprouse on the team's website.
“At the moment there are no known fractures but with injuries like this when swelling reduces, small fractures may be detected later. Considering the way it happened, his injuries could have been a lot worse so we’re all very thankful that they weren’t”.
Another victim of the race was Lotto Belisol's Marcel Sieberg, who crashed hard on the descent of the Col de la Madeleine. X-rays confirmed a non-displace fracture of the collarbone. The big German will fly to Belgium today for surgery, and is expected to be able to start training in a week.