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Cadel Evans (center) finished 31st on the climb of Mont Ventoux. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)
Cadel Evans (center) finished 31st on the climb of Mont Ventoux. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)

Tour de France, Stage 15: Battle To The Top

14. July 2013

With teammates Philippe Gilbert and Steve Morabito riding beside him, BMC Racing Team's Cadel Evans crossed the finish line at the summit of Mont Ventoux Sunday after a battle to the top on the Tour de France's longest stage.

Difficult Before The Climb
Evans conceded 8:46 to solo stage winner Chris Froome (Sky Procycling), who increased his overall lead to 4:14 over Bauke Mollema (Belkin Pro Cycling). After losing contact with 11 kilometers to go in the 20.8 km climb at the end of the 242.5-km stage, Evans slipped to 16th overall, 15:40 behind. "What can I say? I was nowhere near where I wanted to be and had a lot of difficulties," the 2011 Tour de France winner said. "I was feeling fine to start, a bit tired after the start and exhausted even before we started the climb. It's hard to go in with big expectations when you're exhausted before the climb even starts. As the climb went on, (I felt) worse and worse. When you're popped out of the group, it doesn't do much for your motivation."

Fast All Day Long
For the second straight day, BMC Racing Team's Marcus Burghardt was seen near the front as he tried to make the day's breakaway. "We wanted to have one guy in the break to be support for Cadel later in the race when it started to blow," teammate Brent Bookwalter said. "He was a little ways off in the counter but it was still a good effort." Bookwalter and Amaël Moinard said the team did its best to protect Evans before the punishing climb to the finish that averages 7.5 percent. "It was very, very fast at the beginning and all day long," Moinard said. "Then, we all had to struggle to be in a good position at the bottom of the Ventoux. It was very hard. I think that everybody had to make great efforts to be in a good position at the bottom and then (from the bottom), it was very fast."

Listen to complete comments from Bookwalter, Evans and Moinard on the BMC Racing Team Tour de France Audio Line.