2011 Tour de France

Posted: Monday, July 25, 2011 by Travis Cody in

Congratulations to Cadel Evans, who overcame every challenge and emerged as the winner of the 2011 Tour de France on Sunday.

The first week of the race was about survival and staying out of trouble as the crashes came hard and fast with severe injuries spread among the field of riders.  Several top contenders had to drop out of the race, but Evans managed to stay clean and safe with the help of his BMC team.

Then came the second week and the Pyranees, when French cyclist Thomas Voeckler attacked the field and took hold of the yellow jersey.  His combativeness kept him in yellow for 9 days while the general contenders tried to sort out strategies for the stages to come in the Alps.

Then came the third week, when the general contenders finally began to impose their will on the field.  Andy Schleck will win this race some day.  He mounted an epic challenge during Stage 18, breaking away with about 40 miles still to race up the peaks of Galibier Serre and Chevalier.  Schleck's move put nearly 4 minutes on his rivals at one time during the climbs.  Had he been able to hold that time, it very likely would have been enough to seem him through to the final podium in yellow.

But Evans steady and massive tempo forged his come back up Chevalier to close the gap back to 57 seconds by the end of the stage.  Although Schleck finally wrestled the yellow jersey from Voeckler on Stage 19, he was unable to hold off Evans in the time trial on Stage 19.

I missed quite a bit of the Tour while I was on vacation in Arizona.  We got home in time to applaud the determination of Thomas Voeckler, the aggressiveness of Andy Schleck, and the steady relentlessness of Cadel Evans.  Evans won the Tour because he understood his strengths and minimized his weaknesses.  Evans is a superb strategist and never lost confidence in his fitness or basic plan.  Schleck came up short again, but only because he is average in the individual time trials.  He is a magnificent climber, an aggressive and brave rider, and a tremendous tactician in the mountain stages.

I like Andy Schleck and I root for him to win.  He's only 26, just coming into his prime as a professional cyclist.  He's going to improve his time trial ability and become an excellent champion.  I suspect he'll win several Tours de France.

I've always liked Cadel Evans.  He rides with dignity and respect for the sport and his fellow competitors.  Things broke well for him when he decided to join the BMC team.  Evans is 34 and time was definitely running out on his chances to win the Tour.  He won a world cycling championship in 2010.  And now he has followed that up with the dedication and commitment to winning the Tour de France.  Those are professional cycling jewels in the crown of achievement.

Congratulations Cadel Evans, champion.


  1. Anonymous says:

    I can still remember that day in Paris when it was the end of the race. I was trying to get across the river and the taxi driver had to drop me off very short of my destination. The Tour was ending that day and there were several roads blocked off.

    I finally got to my destination (Musee D'Orsay) and watched the cyclists whizz by on their way to the finish line. It was exciting!

    That year Greg Lemond won the race (1990).

  1. Akelamalu says:

    It's a dangerous sport cycling.:(

  1. He's to be commended on that for sure, considering the sheer physical drain of that ride.

  1. Lois: That must have been really cool to see.

    Akelamalu: It certainly can be.

    Charles: I get tired just watching them peddle up 10 and 12 degree slopes.

  1. I know this event is grueling and huge in Europe, but I get no thrills from it at all

    I do remember as a kid, they held a race in our town that went past our house...that was kinda cool

  1. TopChamp says:

    It caught my attention this year, possibly because of the France trip and the coverage of it we saw there.

    There was a fair bit of news when the tv car knocked the cyclist off.