Sweet triomphe for Evans
Cadel Evans became the first Australian to win the Tour de France after Briton Mark Cavendish took Sunday's final stage on the Champs Elysees for the third year in a row.other Updated: Jul 25, 2011 00:09 IST
Cadel Evans became the first Australian to win the Tour de France after Briton Mark Cavendish took Sunday's final stage on the Champs Elysees for the third year in a row.
The 34-year-old Evans, the oldest Tour winner since World War II, showed resilience throughout as he broke three-times champion Alberto Contador's unbeaten run in a grand tour since 2007.
Luxembourg's Andy Schleck was second overall for the third year in succession, 1:34 behind Evans, who claimed his maiden grand tour title.
“Thank you to everyone who supported me, my team mates, my rivals, everyone for this incredible experience," said Evans, who won one stage during the race, after stepping on the podium on the Champs Elysees.
Frank Schleck was third, 2:30 off the pace as two brothers climbed on the final Tour de France podium for the first time.
Cavendish was also made to wait to finally claim the green jersey for the points classification after starting the day with a 15-point advantage over Spain's Jose Roaquin Rojas.
The HTC-Highroad team set their usual lead-out train for Cavendish, who duly delivered to snatch his 20th Tour de France stage win.
Garmin-Cervelo, who won the team time trial and stages through American Tyler Farrar and Norwegian Thor Hushovd, won the team standings.
Frenchman Pierre Rolland, claimed the white jersey for the best under-25 rider while Samuel Sanchez won the polka-dot jersey for the best climber.
Evans deserves it, says Schleck
"Cadel deserved to win. Second place in the Tour is not nothing and being with my broher on the podium is a famliy's dream. Our parents are proud of us," said Andy Schleck.
The Australian only took the overall leader's yellow jersey after Saturday's final time trial in which he humbled Andy Schleck by 2:31, easily overcoming a 57-second deficit.
Evans's win also broke Spanish domination after Contador (‘07, ‘09, ‘10), Oscar Pereiro (‘06) and Carlos Sastre (‘08) had won five titles in a row.