Edvald Boasson Hagen Flies to Sprint Victory in 2011 Tour de France Stage 6
Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway led a sprint to win the rain-splattered sixth stage of the Tour de France 2011 and his countryman Thor Hushovd (Team Garmin-Cervélo) retained the yellow jersey earlier today.
rain," Evans told Roadcycling.com and our mobile sister site Roadcycling.mobi and added "This is my seventh Tour and it's the most wet weather I have had in one day. And to have it happen on the longest day made it even harder."
Evans again said his BMC Racing Team has been doing a good job of keeping him positioned near the front and out of danger.
"Also, on some of the hard finishes and longer stages like this one, you see some of the teams get caught out," Evans said.
"You never know what can happen on a finish like today. But certainly the classification is really looking good at the moment. Everyone on the team is healthy and really riding well. We can look forward to the mountains, but still have a few more days to get through safely before we get there," Evans concluded.
Top title contenders like Contador, Evans and two-time Tour runner-up Andy Schleck tried to suss out each other's climbing abilities. At one point, said Evans, Contador showed "a pretty good little attack." However, Contador chose the long way in a roundabout, which annulled his small attack.
"In the beginning of the stage, I was struggling a bit but after a few kilometers of pedaling I was feeling ok. It was another nervous stage and because of the rain I virtually wasn't able to see anything."
"At the end of stage I was moving to the very front of the pack simply to avoid accidents and not because I wanted to make an attack. I'm happy to say that I'm feeling better all the time," Team Saxo Bank-SunGard's Contador told journalists to try to explain his attack mishap and to signal to his GC competitors that he is fit for fight after his crash in yesterday's dramatic stage.
"With these climbs, it's so short and sharp that it doesn't give a good indication of who's really climbing the best - so we'll see when we get there," Evans said of the mountain stages in the Pyrenees and Alps. The three-week race ends July 24 in Paris.
Despite the slippery conditions, the stage was marked by fewer crashes than a day earlier, when many riders including Contador and British rider Bradley Wiggins went down.
Still, it was yet another bad day for the U.S. RadioShack team because American veteran Levi Leipheimer crashed with about 5 kilometers left - his second spill in two days - and lost more than a minute on the other general classification contenders.
The 37-year-old Leipheimer finished the stage in 75th place, 1:05 behind Hagen, and dropped to 31st overall - 1:23 behind Hushovd. A photo of Leipheimer removing his race numbers from his RadioShack jersey published on Twitter after the stage indicates that Leipheimer is exiting the 2011 Tour. In pro cycling removing ones race numbers from ones jersey is used to signal that you're leaving a race.
On Wednesday, RadioShack lost young star Janez Brajkovic of Slovenia from the race in a nasty spill that left him unconscious, bloodied on his head,