It’s all over bar the shouting at the Tour de France with BMC’s Cadel Evans looking certain to be crowned king of the event at tomorrow’s Champs-Élysées finish in Paris – making him the first Australian ever to take the prestigious title. The 34 year old rider completed the rather hilly 42.5km Grenoble-Grenoble Individual Time Trial seven seconds down on the Stage 20 winner Tony Martin of HTC-Highroad (55min 34s) but an all-important 2min 30s faster than the overnight Yellow Jersey (and potential Tour champ) Andy Schleck. Reigning champion Alberto Contador of Saxo Bank took third place on the ITT, but it was too little, too late for the trouble Spanish rider who seems to have struggled at almost every stage of this year’s Tour.
Evans – who has taken second place in the event in both 2007 and 2008 – was wearing his 2009 World Champion shoes for this penultimate stage and commented after the finish: “I get an incredible amount of support and encouragement (from Australia) and to be able to fly the flag over this side of the world is incredible. Twenty years I’ve been cycling and there are some really great people who have believed in me all this time.”