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Cadel Evans said navigating through crosswinds required concentration. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)
Cadel Evans said navigating through crosswinds required concentration. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)

Tour de France, Stage 12: One For The Sprinters

11. July 2013

An anticipated field sprint Thursday at the Tour de France included one late crash that held up BMC Racing Team's Philippe Gilbert. But the world road champion did not go down and was not injured while teammate Cadel Evans finished 20th and kept his 14th place overall.

Nervous Finale
The crash involving Gilbert happened inside the final three kilometers of the 218-kilometer race and involved more than a dozen riders. "It was very nervous with the headwind in the final," Gilbert said. "Everybody was pretty to nervous to move up. When the crash happened, I jumped on the brakes, hoping the guy behind me would do the same and that's what he did. So I was happy to stay on my wheels." Marcel Kittel (Team Argos-Shimano) earned his third stage win of the race while Chris Froome (Sky Procycling) kept the overall lead. Evans said racing through crosswinds all day consumed energy and required concentration. "As we saw with the crash there in the final, whether it's fatigue from the stage or because we are in the second half of the race, I don't know," Evans said. "But Brent (Bookwalter), Amaël (Moinard) and Steve (Morabito) worked in the first half and (Marcus) Burghardt and (Manuel) Quinziato kept me in the safe position in the final. So I was able to avoid all the dangers of the day." BMC Racing Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said Friday will be another one for the sprinters before a tricky stage to Lyon. "Then we have to concentrate with Cadel on Sunday's stage of the Mont Ventoux," he said. "It's there that we begin the last big week of the Tour de France with the mountains and the time trial. Anything can happen."

Listen to complete comments from Gilbert on the BMC Racing Team Tour de France Audio Line.