Cadel Evans Rode 2010 Tour de France Stage 9 with Broken Elbow
Australian reportedly suffered injury in crash during Sunday's stage 8.
Deposed leader Cadel Evans rode the ninth stage of the Tour de France with a fractured left elbow, but the medical officer of his BMC Racing Team said earlier today that the Australian could still finish the race.
Evans lost the yellow jersey and dropped down to 18th position in the overall standings - 7 minutes, 47 seconds behind new leader Andy Schleck - after finishing Tuesday's grueling 204.5-kilometer (127-mile) stage in 42nd place.
Team doctor Max Testa said Evans had X-rays taken at a clinic in Morzine on Sunday, the day he crashed early in the eighth stage, and tests revealed a "small fracture" which should not jeopardize his plans to finish the Tour de France 2010.
"Evans will continue in the race unless there is a risk of permanent damage," Testa said. "Cadel is a super tough guy so he managed very well. He did as much as any human could do."
Testa said Evans' teammates didn't even know the Australian rider had been competing with a fractured elbow, with Monday's rest day having done little to soothe the pain.
"I had a big crash at the start of that day (Sunday) and I'm really paying the consequences from that," Evans said Tuesday. "I suffer on my bike every day but I do it with pleasure."
The 33-year-old Evans virtually has no chance of winning the Tour de France or even matching his two runner-up finishes, both times to Spanish riders.
"The guys and the team have supported me and believed in me in this whole project," Evans said. "I'm so sorry to have let them all down."
Evans finished behind Alberto Contador in 2007, while Carlos Sastre beat him in '08 - when Evans also crashed heavily.
BMC president Jim Ochowicz said the full extent of the injury was not revealed so that rivals did not sense Evans was troubled.
"We decided not to tell anybody about it, and try and fake it through the race," Ochowicz said. "We didn't want to let our competitors know and have them attacking him during the race on the early climbs. We weren't sure what the outcome was going to be."
Evans, you've earned even greater respect from the whole team here at Roadcycling.com for fighting your way through today's stage. We were so sorry to see you crash on Sunday .. you deserve much better and a chance to win the Tour de France without any crashes. We - and cycling fans worldwide - are proud and honored to have a World Champion in you! You've shown us such motivated and exciting riding so far this season and we are looking forward to seeing you back at 100%. Great to see a rider who aims for the Tour win and yet still performs so wonderfully in many other races during the season.