Glory in France: Cadel Evans Emerges as Tour de France Champion, Seals Yellow Jersey in Stage 20
The dying words of his late coach were more than likely at the top of his mind.
Oakley star cyclist Cadel Evans fulfilled the dream of his coach Aldo Sassi this weekend – claiming the Yellow Jersey in Stage 20 on his way to an overall Tour de France Championship triumph. The Aussie standout, the first of his country to claim the ultra-prestigious honor, closed out what had been one of the most intensely dramatic races in years by trampling a 57-second deficit to fellow Oakley star Andy Schleck (Leopard Trek).
There’s no doubt that a swirl of emotions overwhelmed him.
“I really can’t quite believe it right now,” a super emotional Cadel said, rocking his Oakley eyewear. “I have been concentrating on one event for so long.”
He sealed the deal by launching a virtually impossible attack, successfully, during the flat stretch in the stage.
Oakley’s Schleck brothers, knowing they had lost, embraced after the finish line at the 26-mile time trial. Cadel lead Andy by 1:34, and Frank Schleck by 2:30.
The triumph for Cadel, the BMC team leader, culminated a stellar and methodical three weeks of riding. Unlike defending champion Alberto Contador and other main contenders, he was spared crashes. His only real problem was mechanical trouble Friday, but he recovered without any lost time.
Cadel impressively sealed the Tour victory after having won Stage 4 with a finish on the summit of the Mûr-de-Bretagne. His feat, however attests to his diligent preparation as he eyed a title he has narrowly missed for years.
As Sunday’s ceremonial finish along the Champs-Elysees in Paris arrived — with Cadel in his bright yellow jersey and matching Championship Yellow Oakley Radar eyewear – emotions visibly remained shining on his face.
Safe to say that this year’s edition of the 108-year-old race was one of the most memorable and intense events – with Oakley riders dominating the spotlight.
All highlighted, of course, by Cadel’s brilliant win!
From the entire Oakley family, congratulations Cadel!!!