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Tour de France Stage 20: Cadel Evans Takes Yellow Jersey in Final Time Trial

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Cadel Evans, BMC Racing Team, Tour de France, Yellow Jersey, Grenoble time trial. Photo: Michael Steele/Getty.

In a dramatic finale to this Tour of surprises, Cadel Evans of BMC Racing Team went on a rampage in Grenoble and to take back the Yellow Jersey from Andy Schleck of Leopard Trek. Evans began the day 57 seconds behind Schleck, who took the race lead Friday on the Alpe d'Huez after two massive attacks in the high mountains. The dramatic race through the Alps set up a thrilling showdown in Grenoble between the two lead riders.

Results

Stage Results

  1. Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad)
  2. Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) :07
  3. Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) 1:06
  4. Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) 1:29
  5. Richie Porte (Saxo Bank) 1:30

General Classification

  1. Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team)
  2. Andy Schleck (Leopard Trek) 1:34
  3. Fränk Schleck (Leopard Trek) 2:30
  4. Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) 3:20
  5. Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) 3:57
  6. Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel Euskadi) 4:55
  7. Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) 6:05
  8. Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) 7:23
  9. Tom Danielson (Garmin-Cervélo) 8:15
  10. Jean-Christophe Péraud (AG2R) 10:11

Evans plainly had the race under control in Grenoble and quickly seized the advantage. Shortly after the first time check, Evans held the virtual race lead, and steadily ran up the clock against a struggling Andy Schleck. Evans gained time on the climb and railed the descent to seal Schleck's fate.

Sunday, Evans will become the first Australian ever to win the Tour de France. Evans will ride into Paris with a 1:34 advantage over second-placed Andy Schleck. Schleck, meanwhile, will finish second in the Tour de France for the third time in three years.

In the battle for the stage victory, Tony Martin of HTC-Highroad won the day in 55:33.91. Martin rode the course in an average speed of 45.9 km/hr to take his first ever Tour de France stage victory. Cadel Evans finished second, 7 seconds behind Martin.

Alberto Contador of Saxo Bank, in a last-ditch effort to climb the overall classification, finished third on the stage, but he could not overtake Thomas Voeckler or Fränk Schleck. Fränk Schleck will stand on the third step of the podium in Paris.

In another big ride, Pierre Rolland of Europcar, who won on the Alpe d'Huez on Friday, finished fourteenth in the Grenoble time trial. Rolland successfully defended his lead in the White Jersey over Rein Taramae of Cofidis. Though Voeckler will not wear Yellow in Paris, Europcar will have Rolland's White Jersey to celebrate on Sunday.

Samuel Sánchez finished safely and will wear the Mountains Jersey into Paris on Sunday. Mark Cavendish currently holds the Green Jersey of Points leader with a 15 point lead over José Joaquín Rojas of Movistar. Cavendish has won on the Champs Elysées twice previously. Rojas will have a difficult task to overtake the British sprinter.

In another first ever for this Tour de France, Garmin-Cervélo has secured the lead in the teams classification. The U.S.-registered team had never won a stage at the Tour de France before this year. They won the team time trial. Then, Tyler Farrar added a road stage victory. And if that were not enough, World Champion Thor Hushovd won two stages.

Overnight rains gave way to sunny skies in Grenoble, and the top riders had dry roads for this final time trial. The difficult course had few flat sections and the final descent was certainly not for the faint of heart. Martin set an early fast time, and only Evans and Contador could challenge the German specialist. A former World Champion, Evans has previously twice finished second in the Tour de France, and Sunday will mark his first ever victory.

Cadel Evans, BMC Racing Team, Tour de France 2011, Yellow Jersey.

Here are the full results.