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Philippe Gilbert was in the mix in the sprint to the finish. (©Sirotti.)
Philippe Gilbert was in the mix in the sprint to the finish. (©Sirotti.)

Tour de France, Stage 13: Evans Stays Aggressive; Gilbert Finishes Eighth

14. July 2012

Cadel Evans and the BMC Racing Team went on the offensive late in Saturday's stage of the Tour de France, splitting the field on the day's only categorized climb to eventually set up Philippe Gilbert's eighth-place finish.

Team Effort
Leading into the Category 3 climb of Mont Saint-Clair with fewer than 25 kilometers to go in the 217 km race, the BMC Racing Team raised the tempo in strong crosswinds before Evans attacked on the climb. Race leader Bradley Wiggins (Sky Procycling) was quick to bridge the gap, but the acceleration forced a selection of about 30 riders. Evans said the strategized move was truly a team effort. "The teamwork was great and the main thing was the guys got me there, especially George Hincapie," the defending champion said. "He's really incredible. He was doing the work of two or three to set me up for the climb."

Ochowicz: Evans Will Keep Fighting
BMC Racing Team President Jim Ochowicz said Evans has at least five stages – of seven remaining – to take back the 3:19 he is behind Wiggins. "We have to keep testing, otherwise we lose," Ochowicz said. "If we don't try sometimes, even through sometimes it might just not be the exact, perfect moment, you never know what can happen in these races. You just keep staying on the front, we keep making the race happen the way we want it to happen and we have to follow as well when other people have moments of glory."

A Fast Day
After Evans's attack, a reduced peloton eventually regrouped and André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol Team) took the bunch sprint win. Evans (16th) and teammate Tejay van Garderen (20th) finished in the same time. Van Garderen kept the lead in the best young rider competition he has held for all but two days of the race while Gilbert recorded his third top 10 finish. The current Belgian national time trial champion said despite only one climb, it was far from an easy stage. "It was a fast day and Orica-GreenEDGE managed it as a real classic," Gilbert said. "They hardened the pace after each village. I saw that all the riders in the bunch are getting tired and I'm a bit tired too, but I'm fine."

Listen to complete comments from Evans (English), Lelangue (French), Ochowicz (English) and van Garderen (English) on the BMC Racing Team's Tour de France AudioLine:
www.bmcracingteam.com/grand-tours/tour-de-france/audio/

CUTLINE:
Philippe Gilbert was in the mix in the sprint to the finish. (©Sirotti.)