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Tour de France Cycling News for July 14, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones and Shane Stokes

Evans happy

Davitamon-Lotto team leader Cadel Evans has expressed satisfaction with his ride on stage 11, finishing as part of the Lance Armstrong chase group in seventh. Although he dropped one place to fourteenth overall as the result of Alexandre Vinokourov's time gain, the good sensations he felt on the road to Brianšon have given him confidence.

"I felt a lot better than yesterday," he told SBS television after the stage. "It was a bit steeper and not quite as hard, so it was a bit easier to be up there in front. I rode conservatively."

"It wasn't as selective as yesterday, today was different. 15 or 20 went over the climb whereas yesterday there were only five."

Evans welcomed the fact that the race was controlled, saying that not having to dig too deep on every mountain stage makes things better for later in the race. When asked if he plans to make a move, he took a cautious approach. "There's a long way to go yet, we'll see. I'll have to see if I've got the legs first. So far they are ok, but when there's still four Discover guys left...well! I've got a long way to go before I think of making a move on Lance Armstrong. I'm too close on GC so they (Discovery) are not going to let me get too far anyway."

If his legs are good in the Pyrenees he could reap the benefits. "They are very hard, that's for sure," he said. "Normally I'm a bit better on the shorter, steeper climbs which is what you find there. We will see."

Rogers suffers but happy with stage

World time trial champion Michael Rogers lost four minutes and 22 seconds on yesterday's tenth stage but fared better today, finishing in the same time as Lance Armstrong and most of the other GC contenders. He dug deep but says his form is improving.

"'That was a hard day," Rogers told John Trevorrow at the finish. "I backed off on the Galibier just before I did a bomb crater (blow up) in the road. I knew I would get back on the decent, so I just tried to manage myself a bit."

"I was tired but everyone is at that altitude. It is a hard climb. I am happy to finish in the front, it was a hard day. I was a bit rough on the first climb because Discovery set a very, very high tempo. There wasn't many left at all in the top. A few came back but Discovery was super again today."

Rogers let go of the lead group about 5 kilometres from the top of the Galibier, but joined up with riders such as Andreas Kl÷den and was able to chase back on. "I did a big descent because I know it quite well and know the corners. I probably took it a bit faster than (the other) guys. We had a good little group, set our tempo and didn't lose too much time."

"Once we were back on, the last 40km were so fast. We didn't go below 80kmh. It was amazing that Vinokourov and Botero held on. I don't know how they stayed out in front."

Rogers is hoping that his form continues to improve. "I am getting stronger," he said. "I am looking forward to the next stages... There is still a long way to the end of the Tour, but I am getting better and better."

Marchante on the mend

After his crash during stage 9, Saunier Duval's Jose Angel Gomez Marchante has been operated on Tuesday morning for a broken collarbone. Everything went well and he will be soon be back in action.

Pre stage quotes - Courchevel

Cadel Evans (Davitamon-Lotto)

Memories of the tour so far?

"First day a fifty year old woman tried to wrestle me off my bike at the sign on just so I would say hello from her to Axel Merckx. She didn't even know who I as, didn't even care. Some of the worst things are people in the crowd who are looking the opposite way to what we are coming because everyone else will get out of the way when we see the bunch coming. 180 riders on a 5 meter bit of road there is not a lot of space, and when one person is looking the other way he is left standing in the middle of the road. The other day Freddy (Rodriguez) was taking me to the front of a climb and there was this guy standing in the road. I don't know how he held it up because we must have been going at least 65 km per hour. Anyway, there is one enormous guy in the middle of the crowd and Freddie had to suddenly swerve; his bike was on a 45 degree angle to mine, he just missed the guy. I don't how he held it up and don't know how I did either.

Then there are the ones who have their jacket hanging over. There was one climb earlier in the week...I was going up the edge of the road and I caught my handle bar in someone's jacket. Then I heard an Aussie voice call out. I don't know whose jacket it was, but I was lucky to stay upright then. Yeah you can certainly tell the experienced from the non-experienced. Here comes the race: some jump out of the way while the others just stand there.

It's going to be hard today, you've got the Telegraph and the Galibier which are virtually one climb. You go over the top of the Telegraph, you have a quick 5km decent and then you are straight into the Galibier. Its like 40 kilometres of climbing and that's 20 odd kilometres after the Madeleine. All on small roads, too, so its going to be pretty tough."

Allan Davis (Liberty Seguros)

"Yeah tough day yesterday, got myself into the gruppetto. Today I'll be even tougher. You just have to get yourself into the grove of travelling at the speed that you feel comfortable with, and get through the best way you can. For me I have a couple of stages I am eyeing later on so I will just take it as easy as I can.

Brad McGee (Francaise des Jeux)

- You must be disappointed with yesterday?

"Yeah really disappointed and disillusioned."

Was it anything to do with the hunger flat problem of the past?

"No, I didn't feel bad, I just couldn't stay with them."

Stuart O'Grady (Cofidis)

"It should be a pretty hard day but most of the big hitters will be a bit shell-shocked. They took a bit of a hiding yesterday so it might be calm. I think it's the guys who are ten minutes down that will go for a stage win today, rather than the GC riders who took a big blow to the head yesterday."

Baden Cooke (Francaise des Jeux)

"Yesterday was a bit of a rest day as far as mountain stages go, with a long flat section before the first climb. We were never in any danger with the time,. Today will be another story, we will be on the limit at the start. Well, most of us will."

Untitled Document

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Lucky 7 Sweepstakes'
Photo ę: Trek
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