BMC Racing Team's Cadel Evans finished sixth on Tuesday's uphill finish at Boulogne-sur-Mer, moving up to seventh in the overall standings after teammate Philippe Gilbert was involved in a crash and fell out of the top 10.
Evans himself narrowly avoided being taken down in a crash in the final few hundred meters of the 197 kilometer race while teammate Tejay van Garderen was one of a number of riders held up by it. But van Garderen received the same finish time as his group (due to the three-kilometer rule) and kept his lead in the best young rider classification, while Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) earned his second stage win. Van Garderen remains fourth overall, 10 seconds off the overall lead of Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan). Evans is 17 seconds behind Cancellera and said so far, everything is going well. "I'm feeling better each day and, as a team, we're still getting our old habits back and getting in the groove. For us, Saturday is really where it's going to happen. Of course, all the days in between are important as well. In the next five or six days, there's still a lot of nervous racing to go. You don't want to take your hands off the brake levers for a moment." Gilbert Not Hurt In Crash Entering the stage, Gilbert had been seventh overall, 13 seconds behind. But he hit the ground when someone collided with him from behind. Though he was not seriously hurt, his left shoe was damaged. "I had to change it and all the cars were blocked behind the crash," Gilbert said. "So when I finally could change it, my race was over." BMC Racing Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said Steve Cummings and Amaël Moinard waited to help Gilbert, but the pace was too fast and the former Belgian national road champion would go on to finish 168th, 7:46 behind the winner. "It was impossible to come back," Lelangue said. "Nobody from that group was able to rejoin the first group and, at this moment, we also knew our priority was Cadel." BMC Racing Team Dr. Dario Spinelli said Gilbert's injuries are minor, amounting only to abrasions and bruises on his left shoulder, leg and knee. Listen to complete comments from Evans, Gilbert, Lelangue and van Garderen on the BMC Racing Team Tour de France AudioLine: http://www.bmcracingteam.com/grand-tours/tour-de-france/audio/