Evans claims victory in crash-filled Tour

Cadel Evans of team BMC takes part in a victory parade after winning the 2011 Tour de France.

Cadel Evans won the Tour de France yesterday, becoming the first cyclist from the southern hemisphere to capture the sport’s most coveted title. 

The Aussie took a 1:34 lead over Andy Schleck into the final stage after securing the title with his masterful ride in Saturday’s time trial. Tradition dictates riders don’t compete for the overall lead on the last day.

Evans celebrated with a glass of champagne with his team as the riders made their way into Paris on the 59-mile ride from the southeastern suburb of Creteil.

The 34-year-old Evans is the oldest winner of the Tour since World War II. The all-time record was set by 36-year-old Firmin Lambot of Belgium in 1922.

Dave Sanders, the head of the Victorian Institute of Sport, said Saturday that Evans’ tour win would rank as “the greatest individual achievement in Australian sporting history.”

Brothers Andy and Frank Schleck finished second and third overall of the 198 riders who began the 2,132-mile stage race on July 2. It marked the first time two brothers made the podium in the same year.

Mark Cavendish won the 21st stage into Paris for the third year in a row.


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