Cycling: Froome's win shuts Evans out of Tour repeat

the biggest blow was suffered by Evans, who came over the finish 26th at 4:13 behind Froome to drop to 23rd overall at 4:36. Photo / AP
the biggest blow was suffered by Evans, who came over the finish 26th at 4:13 behind Froome to drop to 23rd overall at 4:36. Photo / AP

There is no room for national sentiment on the world's biggest bike race: just ask Australian Cadel Evans.

On the first day in the high mountains of the 100th Tour de France, the 2011 champion virtually lost all hope of winning a second yellow jersey as Britain's Chris Froome stamped his authority on the race.

Froome, last year's runner-up to Sky teammate Bradley Wiggins, capped an audacious solo attack 5km from the summit of Ax-Trois-Domaines with a victory that gave him the race lead and a significant advantage over his rivals.

Spain's two-time winner Alberto Contador finished 1min 45sec off the pace and is now seventh overall at 1:51 behind Froome.

However, the biggest blow was suffered by Evans, who came over the finish 26th at 4:13 behind Froome to drop to 23rd overall at 4:36.

Evans admitted Sky's "really consistent" pace on the arduous 15km slog to the summit of the Pailheres mountain pass left him short for the ensuing 7.8km trek to the finish on the next climb, where Australian compatriot Richie Porte played a decisive role for Sky.

"When you're in the running for GC [general classification], 7km is not a climb that you would normally get dropped on, but on the last climb I had a few problems to get into the mix," said Evans.

"I couldn't even push myself to my maximum and at that point, when you see 20 guys riding away from you, you know you're a long way off the pace."

- AFP

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