Stage Triumph: Cadel Evans Claims Fourth Stage Victory, Thor Hushovd Keeps Yellow Jersey
O riders are continuing their charge.
Star Cyclist Cadel Evans held off defending champion Alberto Contador in a photo finish to emerge with a Stage 4 Tour de France triumph on Tuesday. Fellow Oakley rider Thor Hushovd, the Stage 2 victor, finished sixth with the same time as the stage winner and will retain the coveted yellow jersey as the overall leader for the third straight day.
Evans finished the 172.5-km jaunt from Lorient to Mur-de-Bretagne in four hours, 11 minutes and 39 seconds, edging the three-time Tour champion by a fraction of a tire length for his first career Tour stage win.
”To win a stage here in the first week is a real bonus and I owe it all to my team," Cadel said, rocking his Oakley Radar Echelon eyewear. He previously placed first in a stage in 2007 after a rider was disqualified.
“To try for the stage win – and get it – is already fantastic and now we’ll look towards tomorrow and beyond.”
Meanwhile, Thor remains the overall leader by a single second over Cadel, while Frank Schleck of Luxembourg trails them by a mere four seconds off the lead pace. Schleck was seventh in Tuesday’s stage.
Contador, the two-time defending champ, is still one minute, 42 seconds behind Thor. However, he moved up from 69th place to 41st. With a steep climb at the finish, Contador – who excels in the mountain stages – attempted to steal the stage win. Cadel, however, was able to fight off each of the challenges.
“In the final sprint I was committed but I didn’t want to launch too hard because I knew the others could have come around me,” Cadel continued. “I saw Contador closing in on me, but I just had to hold him off. It came down to the throw to the line and right at the finish I couldn’t even see who crossed the line first. I honestly didn’t see it. I was just focused on reaching for the line. I really had to wait for the official result myself before I knew for sure that I’d won.”
Following Stage 4, Oakley riders possess all the Leader Jerseys and the Top 4 riders at the overall G.C.
Yellow Jersey. Overall G.C.: Thor Hushovd. Norway.
Green Jersey Points: JJ Rojas. Spain.
White Jersey Best young rider: G. Thomas. UK.
Polka dot best climber: Cadel Evans. Australia.