Frank Schleck (CSC) was almost in tears after he pulled on his first ever yellow jersey after the finish of a dramatic stage in Prato Nevoso.
Schleck was not able to stay with team mate Carlos Sastre, Denis Menchov (Rabobank), Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d?Epargne) but gained nine precious seconds on Evans to pull on his first ever yellow jersey and now leads Bernhard Kohl by seven seconds, with Cadel Evans third at eight seconds.
?It?s great to finally have the yellow jersey. I was so disappointed not to get it for the team at Hautacam after attacking but now I?ve got it,? he said, almost not believing his own words.
?I said I?d give my all in the Tour de France. I?ve done a lot of training and a lot of hard work to be here. I said just to wear the jersey would be amazing and so it is.?
?NOW WE CAN CELEBRATE A LITTLE BIT”
Schleck revealed that CSC repeated their game plan of continually attacking Cadel Evans and the other favourites on the climb to the finish. Andy Schleck set an infernal pace on the lower slopes of the climb to Prato Nevoso and then Frank and Carlos Sastre took over.
?It?s thanks to the team work that I?ve got it. Everybody saw what Kurt-Asle Arvesen and Fabian Cancellara did on the climb and all the guys were amazing. Now I can take back to them and we can celebrate a bit.?
?My brother was incredible. This is the first ever yellow I?ve worn but I have to give it to Andy for all the work he did for me during the stage.?
Fellow CSC team leader Carlos Sastre was also impressive on the climb to the finish and perhaps the most aggressive he?s ever been in the Tour de France. He finished with Bernhard Kohl (Gerolsteiner) and gained 47 precious seconds on Evans. He is now sixth overall at 49 seconds meaning CSC can again gang up on Kohl, Evans and Menchov in the other Alpine stages.
?Carlos is strong and so we?ve got two cards to play which is great. We?ve always said it?s important that CSC finish on podium in Paris. This is my day and I?ve got a chance to wear the yellow jersey but it?s great we can work together,? Schleck said.
Schleck can proudly wear the yellow during the Tour?s second rest day in Cuneo before the racing starts again in the Alps on Wednesday and Thursday.
|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: STAGE REPORTS|
Stage 15: Schleck takes lead in the Alps
Stage 14: Oscar Freire wins in Digne-les-Bains
Stage 13: Cavendish takes fourth win
Stage 12: Cavendish makes it three
Stage 11: Arvesen wins
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|
Comment: Why Cav is right to go home today
Cavendish pulls out of the Tour
Barloworld to end cycling sponsorship
Ricco speaks on Italian television
Cavendish joins the all-time greats
Saunier Duval sack Ricco and Piepoli
Tour bosses say fight against doping continues
Ricco denies doping at the Tour
Saunier Duval pull out of Tour
Tour’s top ten changes
Ricco positive for EPO at Tour
Analysis: Tour de France rest day summary
Cavendish battles through Pyrenees
Evans suffers but takes yellow jersey [stage 10]
Analysis: Hautacam shakes up 2008 Tour
Ricco silences critics with solo attack in Pyrenees [stage nine]
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 Beltran 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|