Recently on Cyclingnews.com

Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Tour de France Cycling News for July 18, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones and Shane Stokes, with reporting by John Trevorrow

Evans: the most amount of suffering I've ever been through

Evans and Zubeldia
Photo ©: Sirotti
Click for larger image

First time Tour rider Cadel Evans finished 16th on today's stage, 8'47 behind George Hincapie. He started the day 12th overall and improved a place in the general classification, inching ever closer to a slot in the top ten. Indeed that would have been possible today had he succeeded in taking time out of Christophe Moreau.

"It was real hard out there," he told Cyclingnews' John Trevorrow. "I'm just a bit disappointed that Moreau came back. He has been suffering like hell over the past few days, suffering and suffering and suffering."

"Armstrong attacked on the decent and Moreau left this huge gap. Then no-one would chase because we all have to save something for the climbs or our own GC or whatever. Moreau wouldn't chase, even though he was the one who left the gap and it was his responsibility. He then attacked before the final climb; don't ask me how, he's been yo-yoing all week."

"I'm a little disappointed, but if you are not climbing with the big boys, then that's the way things go. It was super-hard out there - I can't think of a time in the stage where I was not suffering."

When asked if he is still aiming for a place in the top ten, the Aussie was a bit non-committal. "I will have to look at the results. That was why I was disappointed that Moreau was able to beat me. I was in front of him, he was dropped and I thought that would get me into the top 10."

"That said, I'm happy with the way I rode. I didn't have enough energy to do any more. I used all I had and I'm really happy this stage is over. You know, the Tour is by far and away the hardest race I've ever done. It's the most amount of suffering I've ever been through - it's hard, hard, hard."

Evans says that he's been gauging his effort when possible. "My level seems to be between fifth and 12th, so I have to limit myself so I can have something left at the end."

"I think a lot of people forgot what I did. This is my first full year on the road (without interruptions) and before that. I had two bad years through injury and stuff . People don't seem to have much of a long-term memory. But I'm finally getting back to my level and starting to show what I can do in a Tour. For my first year it's been pretty good."

Evan's solid ride has prompted Davitamon-Lotto directeur sportif Mark Sergeant to say that they plan to build a team to give a bit more support. Evans is happy with the suggestion. "That would be good. This is a sprinters team. People don't see how much our team has been doing on the front. The TV mainly shows the breakaways but our guys have been on the front for 100 kms most days. So you can't expect them to have much left to help me. They do everything they can."

Davis: That was awesome

Allan Davis (Liberty Seguros)
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
Click for larger image

Allan Davis is more commonly known as a bunch sprinter but today, like George Hincapie, the Liberty Seguros rider was up the road on the mountain leg of the Tour. The Australian was part of a fourteen-man break which went clear in the first thirty kilometres of the stage and while he lost contact with the front runners on the Col du Peyresourde, he was still ahead of Armstrong, Basso, Ullrich and co. starting the final climb of the race. This gave him a pretty unique viewpoint of what it's like to be a top Tour star.

"It was awesome, something I will never forget," he told Cyclingnews' John Trevorrow. "Goosebumps stuff, to be there on the toughest day of the Tour on the toughest climb of the Tour, riding next to Lance and Basso with the crowds screaming...just unbelievable."

"I came here with pretty good form and this is a great team. There are lots of guys who help out a lot and Stevo (Neil Stephens) has been fantastic, he just motivates me."

Davis describes the day as the "hardest ride I've ever done". So why did he go up the road?

"It was just to help the GC riders," he says. "Once we got the big gap, then I thought I may as well get as far up the road as I could. I won the first sprint, but then a couple of the Italians had a problem with me going for the second so the boss (Manolo Saiz) said save it for later."

More post-stage quotes

Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto, 147th at 44'10)

Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto)
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
Click for larger image

"I felt a lot better today. I didn't struggle on the climbs and we got a good gruppetto going. We caught Baden and a few of the boys and rode solidly through the climbs."

Some say that as the hardest stage ever?

"Not for me. I suppose it depends where you are at personally. I was in much more trouble yesterday. I reckon these big transfers after tough stages are a bit much but what can you do?"

Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole, 149th at 44'10)

"It's becoming inhumane, pushing to the limits of what a rider can do. That was one of the hardest stages I've ever ridden and then we have a transfer of two hours in the bus. And two hours yesterday. It is getting ridiculous."

Pre-stage quotes

Allan Davis (Liberty Seguros)

"Yesterday was a tough day but I found a good group and got through it without too much drama. Today will be even tougher and I plan to get through it and leave something in the tank for the days coming up. I felt good the other day when there was a bunch sprint but I was too far back and just couldn't get into position to have a go."

Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto)

How goes it Robbie? "I'm f***ed, like everyone else I suppose."

How did you go up the climbs yesterday? "Really rough, I had a very bad night after my stage win."

Too much champagne?

"Not enough, I had real problems with my guts, I hardly slept at all. I spent half the night lying in the foetal position. Yesterday I thought "how the hell am I gonna get through this?" Luckily it was mostly flat early on and a break went, so I didn't have to worry about the sprints. Last night I was till sore but I got a bit more sleep. I feel a bit better today, I got a bit of colour back. Yesterday all the boys said I looked a little gray but there is always someone who is a bit worse...like Maggie (Magnus Bäckstedt) who spewed up six times yesterday and still made the finish."

"Today is an interesting one with to sprints before the climb. I will just have to see what the field does and, if they are all together, we will have a sprint. The first sprint is after 37km and to be honest I am so bloody tired I hope a break goes away."

Simon Gerrans (Ag2R Prévoyance)

How you feeling mate? "What time of day is it?

About 11.00, why? "A bit early for red wine isn't it?"

I allus has one at 11. (hic!) "Yeah I was going pretty well yesterday until we hit that monster. I then just found a group and got through."

Looks like you will make it to Paris now? "Yeah we will see, today is the hardest day of the Tour. Get through that and I will just take it a day at a time."

Untitled Document

The Tour de France of give-aways and competitions

Don't miss out at Tour time!

Resident freebies expert, Rufus Staffordshire, sniffs out some competitions where up to $1 million in prizes are on offer as manufacturers clamber for your eyeballs. Woof!

Lucky 7 Sweepstakes'
Photo ©: Trek
Click for larger image

The Tour de France is not only a reasonably popular bike race, ahem, it's also a great opportunity to win an incredible range of prizes and competitions on offer from manufacturers, publishers and distributors.

Many of our sponsors are offering Cyclingnews readers a schwag-fest of give-aways during the lap-around-France. The prizes on offer range from Volkswagens and vaccuum cleaners through to trips to Paris for the 2006 TdF, as well as actual kit being ridden by top pros in the Tour - including top bikes from Trek, Cervelo, and Avanti.

So that you don't have to go hunting around the Internet for all these goodies, we've assembled the Cyclingnews complete guide to Tour freebies and competitions.

Previous News    Next News

(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)