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Cadel Evans (leading) enjoyed a better day at the Tour de France on Sunday. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)
Cadel Evans (leading) enjoyed a better day at the Tour de France on Sunday. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)

Tour de France, Stage 9: Evans Sixth

7. July 2013

Cadel Evans of the BMC Racing Team bounced back from a challenging opening day in the Pyrenees Saturday with a sixth-place finish on Sunday.

'Keep Your Hopes Alive'
Evans and a select group that included his teammate, Steve Morabito, finished 20 seconds after Daniel Martin (Garmin-Sharp) out-dueled breakaway companion Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team) for the stage win. Evans said he was feeling "a bit better" in the 168.5-km race that was aggressive from the start and saw overall leader Christopher Froome isolated from the rest of his Sky Procycling teammates. "Certainly, you always have to keep your hopes alive," Evans said. "Quitting is not an option right now. What a saw today was a surprise and not what I expected of Sky. Last year, they had really good recovery amongst all their riders every day throughout the whole tour. Today, that wasn't the case at all. They had one rider in the front and that was a strange and really bizarre situation for the yellow jersey, especially so early in the race." Evans remains 4:36 behind Froome, but moved up seven spots to 16th place.

First Rest Day Monday
Morabito said he was also feeling better on the day before the Tour's first rest day. First, he tried to make the race more aggressive. Later, he helped drive the pursuit of Martin and Fuglsang. "I went away twice and was feeling good, but behind Saxo Bank and Movistar were checking the bunch," he said. "Cadel also had to change bikes so I was asked to wait for him. So on the second climb I brought him him back to the first group." BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said Evans's recovery from Saturday, when he conceded more than four minutes, has the team moving forward more than looking back. "We had higher expectations than what we put on paper so far, but we go on from here," Ochowicz sad. "There's two more weeks to go and we still have a lot of mountains and time trials and events we'd like to do ahead of us. We're in a good position, We're moving up, back with Cadel and we will continue to do that every day and opportunity we get."

Schär Withdraws
The BMC Racing Team will compete the final 12 stages without Michael Schär, who withdrew before the start. The Swiss road champion said he could not endure another day of racing after crashing and injuring his left shoulder early on Friday's Stage 7. "I'm pretty much riding with one hand," Schär said. "This causes a lot of troubles in my whole body and I am completely stiff. I survived two stages of this but I cannot sleep any more from the fatigue and I can't really handle the handlebars in the downhill. It's dangerous for me and the other riders in the peloton." BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa said to continue on could have put Schär's long-term recovery from the injury at risk. "We need to do full evaluation with more imaging," he said. "We don't want to wait too long. Based on that, we'll decide if we need a surgical correction or not."

Listen to complete comments from Marcus Burghardt, Evans, Morabito, Ochowicz and Tejay van Garderen on the BMC Racing Team's Tour de France Audio Line.