Skip to main content

Evans claims historic Tour de France win

Australian Cadel Evans on his way to a debut Tour de France victory.
Australian Cadel Evans on his way to a debut Tour de France victory.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Cadel Evans secures Australia's first ever Tour de France victory
  • Evans wins by 1min 34sec from Andy Schleck of Luxembourg
  • Mark Cavendish wins the final stage and takes the green jersey
  • Samuel Sanchez takes the polka dot jersey and Pierre Rolland the white jersey

(CNN) -- Cadel Evans secured Australia's first ever Tour de France victory after the 21st and final stage of the historic race culminated on the streets of Paris.

Evans, who rides for the BMC team, finished amidst the peleton in the 95km stage, to maintain his 1min 34sec lead over Andy Schleck of Luxembourg.

Britain's Mark Cavendish, of HTC-Highroad, sealed a hat-trick of victories on the Champs Elysees to take the green jersey, awarded for the Tour's best sprinter.

Samuel Sanchez, of the Euskaltel team, claimed the polka dot jersey and Frenchman Pierre Rolland, of Europcar, scooped the white jersey after becoming the best placed rider 25 and under.

Cadel Evans: From the outback to Tour de France fame

Cadel Evans wins Tour de France

Evans has twice finished runner up in the world's premier cycling event, in 2007 and 2008, and was mobbed by his teammates as soon as he crossed the line in the French capital.

It was Evans' commanding performance in Saturday's individual time trial that secured him both the yellow jersey and an unassailable lead, and the final flat stage of the race was little more than a procession.

Evans, who became Australia's first ever world road race champion in 2009, told reporters: "It's been 20 years since I watched my very first Tour de France on TV and I said I'd like to win it. A lot of people didn't believe it.

But to be here wearing the yellow jersey -- for my team, my country, a group of people around me... it leaves me a little lost for words
--Cadel Evans
RELATED TOPICS

"But some very good people believed in me, from my very first coach right through to the ones who turned me to the road.

"It's been years of hard work and there were a lot of moments in this three weeks where our Tour was lost but to get here safely with all my skin, just that alone is a quest in itself.

"But to be here wearing the yellow jersey -- for my team, my country, a group of people around me... it leaves me a little lost for words."

An emotional Evans paid tribute to Aldo Sassi -- his mentor who died of a brain tumor a year ago. "Aldo Sassi always believed in me, more than I did myself," he added.

"He said to me at one point, I hope that you can win a grand Tour and I hope for you it is the Tour de France for it's the most prestigious. If you do, you'll become the most complete rider of your generation."

Andy Schleck finished second for the third successive year, with his brother Frank coming third. Frenchman Thomas Voeckler was fourth with last year's champion, Alberto Contador, of Spain, finishing fifth.

"It's been a perfect Tour de France but there's only one who can win," Andy Schleck told the Tour's official web site.

"We knew that from the start and that's Cadel and he also deserves this victory. He's been fighting for it. I was fighting too but he was stronger and I'll be back."

A jubilant Cavendish, who has now won a total of 20 Tour de France stages, said: "This is absolutely my best Tour de France yet. The green jersey is an objective I've had in mind for a long time. It's incredible to get it."