Tour de France, Stage 12: A Strong Finish
Cadel Evans of the BMC Racing Team confirmed his climbing form on the Tour de France's first major mountain stage by finishing fifth and gaining more time on several of the overall contenders.
Following an attack by Frank Schleck in the final kilometers of the climb to Luz-Ardiden, Evans was among a select chase group that included Ivan Basso, Andy Schleck, Alberto Contador and Damiano Cunego. "The first real mountain top finish in the Tour there's always something you don't expect and something you do expect," Evans said. "It's still early in the mountains and it's a long way to Paris. If the team just keeps going as it has done every day so far, we'll really put ourselves in a great position and get ourselves in a great position in Paris."
Olympic champion Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) rode away from Jelle Vanendert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) to take the stage win, while Frank Schleck (Team Leopard Trek) was third. Evans comfortably followed Basso home as defending Tour champion Contador (Saxo Bank Sungard) conceded 13 seconds. Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar) finished 20 seconds behind Evans to keep the yellow jersey with a 1:49 advantage over Frank Schleck and 2:06 over Evans in third. "You're never particularly comfortable in the Tour at any moment, right now included," Evans said. "We just have to stay calm for now and see how things go in the coming days."