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Cadel Evans is in second place after the Tour's first stage. (Tim de Waele)
Cadel Evans is in second place after the Tour's first stage. (Tim de Waele)

Tour de France, Stage 1: Evans Impresses

2. July 2011

Mont des Alouettes, France

Cadel Evans stormed to a runner-up finish for the BMC Racing Team on Saturday's opening stage of the Tour de France on a day when several pre-race favorites lost time in a late-race crash.

Perfectly Positioned

Evans and several of his teammates escaped a large pile-up when a rider struck a spectator inside the final nine kilometers of the 191.5 km race. With Marcus Burghardt and George Hincapie forcing the pace at the front, the gap to the peloton quickly grew from 32 seconds to more than a minute. At the finish, Evans finished alone, three seconds behind stage winner Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto), and three seconds ahead of a smaller group. "George helped me really well going into the bottom of the climb and I was really perfectly positioned," Evans said. "I thought I would go conservatively but then a Katusha or Astana rider attacked and I got a bit closed in. I tried to go across to Gilbert, but it was just a little bit too late."

Team Time Trial Next
Evans said he is looking forward to Sunday's 23 km team time trial. "It's going to be another important test," he said. "Hopefully we can have a repeat of gaining seconds today. That would be the ultimate." Although several BMC Racing Team riders were caught up in the big crash and a smaller one with two kilometers to go, none were seriously hurt.