Cadel Evans was almost in tears as he pulled on his first ever yellow jersey at the Tour de France. The stage to Hautacam in the Pyrenees pushed him to his limits and he had to fight the pain of his injuries from Sunday?s crash to limit his losses to Frank Schleck. Fortunately it was all worth it.
?Yesterday I was lying on the road honestly thinking that my Tour was over. I was scared to get up and move because I thought I?d broken a bone and so to find myself in yellow now is just great,? Evans said in his first after-race press conference wearing the yellow jersey.
?I can?t quite believe that I?ve got the yellow jersey yet. Maybe I?ll wake up tomorrow and realize what I?ve done. The Tour is a long way from being over but it?s a step towards where we want to be.?
?I?m only in the lead by a very small margin but, tactically every second counts. It?s a long way to the finish and our goal has always been to have the yellow jersey in Paris but as we saw yesterday, anything can happen in this race. One day ago I was counting every pedal stroke to the finish and today I was counting the seconds to try and calculate if I?d take the lead or not. That?s cycling; it can be cruel but sometimes it can be fair.?
?I NEARLY GOT DROPPED?
Evans admitted he had a difficult day, especially in the fast and aggressive racing early on. He eventually got better but opted not to try and go with Schleck, Cobo and eventually stage winner Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval).
?I nearly got dropped on the first category-three climb today and so I said to my team-mate, ?Guys, stay calm, be cool and hopefully I?ll get better.? Thankfully it all came together at the end. The main difficulty was dealing with the numbers that CSC and Saunier Duval had. I had to watch three guys and they all know that; so it?s very hard to control,? he said.
?I think my rivals might have figured out that I was suffering after the crash in stage nine. From the amount of blood that they would have seen yesterday, they?d be stupid if they didn?t know I was in a little bit of pain. I opted to keep an eye on Menchov, Sastre and Frank Schleck. I had to play my cards right. Finally Menchov saw the light and we worked together.?
Evans admitted his silence team is not as strong as CSC but said he would try to defend the jersey with some clever tactical riding in the next few days.
?We may not be the strongest team but we?re trying to be the smartest team. We?re using our strengths as intelligently as possible but CSC are dangerous. They?re only just off the lead by one second and they?ve got the weight of numbers.?
|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: STAGE REPORTS|
Stage 10: Evans takes yellow jersey by one second
Stage nine: Ricco wins in the Pyrenees
Stage eight: Cavendish wins again in Toulouse
Stage seven: Sanchez takes action-packed stage
Stage six: Ricco storms to win
Stage five: Cavendish takes first Tour win
Stage four: Schumacher wins TT and takes race lead
Stage three: Dumoulin wins stage from break
Stage two: Hushovd wins chaotic sprint
Stage one: Valverde wins
|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: NEWS|
Cavendish talks about his second stage win [stage eight]
Beltran heads home but doubts remain about other Tour riders
David Millar: the dope controls are working
Manuel Neltran tests positive for EPO at the Tour
Comment: How the Tour rediscovered its spirit
Doping back in Tour de France headlines
Millar: close but no cigar in Super-Besse [stage six]
Super-Besse shows form of main contenders [stage six]
Millar to go for yellow [stage six]
Team Columbia’s reaction to Cavendish’s win [stage five]
Cavendish talks about his Tour stage win
Tour comment: Why Evans should be happy [stage four]
Millar: Still aiming for Tour yellow jersey [stage 4]
Who is Romain Feillu?
Cavendish disappointed with stage two result
Millar too close to Tour yellow jersey
Stage 2 preview: A sprint finish for Cavendish?
Millar happy after gains precious seconds in Plumelec
Valverde delighted with opening Tour stage win
Comment: Is Valverde’s win a good thing for the Tour?
|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: PHOTOS|
|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: BLOGS|
|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: GUIDE|