Saturday’s decisive Grenoble time trial ended in disappointment for Andy Schleck but his Leopard Trek manager Brian Nygaard was fulsome in his praise for Cadel Evans (BMC), who is set to win the Tour de France on Sunday.
“The strongest guy won today and that’s the nice thing about cycling, especially the Tour,” Nygaard admitted afterwards. “The strongest guy wins at the end. Today and this year it was Evans.”
Schleck had a 57-second lead over Evans coming into the Grenoble time trial, but the Australian scorched around the course to take second place on the stage and easily dispossess Schleck of the yellow jersey.
“If Evans had done his normal time trial and Andy had done his normal time trial, it was within reach,” Nygaard said. “Today Evans was absolutely in a class of his own and I have a lot of respect for the way he’s been riding in the past few weeks, he’s done a perfect race.”
While the much-touted Leopard Trek team failed to land Tour de France victory, Andy Schleck is joined by his older brother Fränk on the podium in Paris, while Nygaard also took consolation from Andy Schleck’s stage victory atop the Galibier on Thursday, which he desribed as “one of the most beautiful moments in cycling.”