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Bad day for defending Tour champ as teammate improves

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It looks like it’s all over for defending Tour de France champion Cadel Evans, as he struggled on three mountain passes in Stage 16 on Wednesday and dropped from 4th to 7th in the overall battle for 1st place.

Tejay Van Garderen

Evans’ teammate Tejay Van Garderen (a native of Tacoma, Washington) also lost some time on the leaders, but did well enough that he moved up one place into 6th overall.

While Evans’ BMC teammates rallied around their suffering leader in an attempt to help him to the finish, Van Garderen was allowed to ride ahead to solidify his lead in the white jersey competition for best young rider.

Meanwhile, Frenchman Thomas Voeckler took a solo victory in a stage that featured four high mountain passes in the Pyrenees — Col d’Aubique, Col du Tourmalet, Col d’Aspin and Col de Peyresourde.

Bradley Wiggins (Team SKY) continued to tighten his hold on the yellow jersey, finishing with teammate Chris Froome in 2nd place and Vincenzo Nibali in 3rd.

Interviewed after the race, BMC cycling George Hincapie said Evans had some kind of stomach problem and did not feel well. He said the team decided it was best to let Van Garderen go ahead.

Van Garderen said, “I’m thrilled with how I’m doing, but it’s a pity that Cadel has fallen back a bit.”

More climbing in the Pyrenees follows Thursday, concluding with a mountain top finish.

Frank Schelck

Responding to doping allegations, RadioShack cyclist Frank Schleck did not start the race Wednesday morning. The Luxembourg cyclist tested positive on Saturday for the banned diuretic Xipamide. He was in 12th place overall.

Schleck has asked for another sample to be tested. If that proves positive, “a complaint will be filed against an unspecified person for poisoning,” he said in a statement reported by ESPN.

The World Anti-Doping Association doesn’t require an automatic suspension during an investigation for Xipamide doping, because there can be legitimate reasons for it.

Top 10 overall

 

1. GBR  WIGGINS Bradley 101 SKY PROCYCLING 74h 15′ 32”
2. GBR  FROOME Christopher 105 SKY PROCYCLING 74h 17′ 37” + 02′ 05”
3. ITA  NIBALI Vincenzo 51 LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE 74h 17′ 55” + 02′ 23”
4. BEL  VAN DEN BROECK Jurgen 111 LOTTO-BELISOL TEAM 74h 21′ 18” + 05′ 46”
5. ESP  ZUBELDIA Haimar 19 RADIOSHACK-NISSAN 74h 22′ 45” + 07′ 13”
6. USA  VAN GARDEREN Tejay 9 BMC RACING TEAM 74h 23′ 27” + 07′ 55”
7. AUS  EVANS Cadel 1 BMC RACING TEAM 74h 23′ 38” + 08′ 06”
8. SLO  BRAJKOVIC Janez 181 ASTANA PRO TEAM 74h 24′ 41” + 09′ 09”
9. FRA  ROLLAND Pierre 29 TEAM EUROPCAR 74h 25′ 42” + 10′ 10”
10. FRA  PINOT Thibaut 146 FDJ-BIGMAT 74h 27′ 15” + 11′ 43”

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2012/07/18/bad-day-for-defending-tour-champ-as-teammate-improves/

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