Cadel Evans of Australia maintains his top shape by avoiding painful crashes even as week one of Tour de France 2012 has left challengers in extremely difficult situations. As the Tour kicks off, Peter Sagan impresses in his debut at the race.
WCommons/Matthew Riegler CC-BY
Cadel Evans, 34, got to full-time road cycling in 2001. He finished second in the 2007 and 2008 Tours, before winning the 2011 Tour.
Evans moved from 13th to eighth place, crediting his team for keeping him in contention at this year's Tour.
Not far from Evans is Denis Menchov from Russia. He is at 6th place, with a gap of four seconds from the defending champion.
"The team kept me out of trouble all day and you have to be well positioned for this climb," Evans told Fox Sports.
"(BMC teammate) Marcus Burghardt took me to the last section near the bridge (in Seraing) and was going 74km just to move me up... I'm happy with how it went," he said.
"For us we'll try and get through safely. You can lose the Tour anywhere, that's the thing. So we have people in the team to help keep me in good position," the defending champion added.
Evans, 34, got to full-time road cycling in 2001. He finished second in the 2007 and 2008 Tours, before winning the 2011 Tour.
Evans is showing that he is still a force to reckon with this year. However, other Tour favorites are doing impressively well. For instance, Evans is 10 seconds behind second-placer Brad Wiggins, a popular favorite.
Reports circulate that Germany's Tony Martin suffered a broken collarbone, while Spain's Luis Leon Sanchez has yet to assess the full damage to his wrist after crashing.
Another mate from Australia, Mick Rogers, was able to finish the race even after crashing, but he shied away from the Top 10 at 22nd place. Rogers was among those who had it bad but did everything possible in the final 25km.
Meanwhile, Sagan, 22, becomes a star to watch out for in his debut at the celebrated European biking race after he won Sunday's 198km first stage from Liege to Seraing in Belgium. He makes history as the youngest winner in the Tour since Lance Armstrong grabbed that record in 1993.
The Tour continues on Monday from Vise to Tournai in Belgium.
Tour de France 2012
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