Without a doubt Cadel Evans of Team BMC put in a heroic ride in today’s stage 9 of the Tour de France. Unknown to almost everyone, including his teammates, the Australian was riding with a fractured elbow.
Team manager Jim Ochowicz said, “We didn’t want to let our competitors know and have them attacking Cadel on the early climbs.We weren’t sure what the outcome was going to be. He doesn’t have full mobility in his elbow, so he had difficulty staying with the group. At the end, the injury just overwhelmed him.”
Prior to Evans dropping away on the final climb, the Col de la Madeleine, BMC had their riders at the front keeping the tempo steady. Greenville resident Hincapie looked resplendent in his national team jersey as he paroled the front of the peloton. Brent Bookwalter was also seen near the front and keeping the team’s yellow jersey wearer out of the wind.
However once the climbing begins and the rider doesn’t have the strength it doesn’t matter how many teammates he has around him.
In the end Evans crossed the line 8:09 behind stage winner Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) dropping him to 18th on the general classification.
BMC Racing Team’s Dr. Max Testa said X-rays were taken Sunday at a clinic in Morzine which revealed the fracture. Evans will continue in the race unless there is a risk of permanent damage.
Testa said, “It’s a stable fracture – small – but very painful. Cadel is a super tough guy so he managed very well. He did as much as any human could do.”
67th George Hincapie BMC Racing Team
130th Brent Bookwalter BMC Racing Team