Phil Anderson is rolling on a train from Grenoble to Paris while countryman Cadel Evans rolls to victory in the time trial.
By freak chance, we were on the same train and same car as Anderson and a few mates from his cycling tour watched Evans win on an iphone streaming video of Evans ripping up the course.
Andersen is the first guy who wasn’t a euro to wear the yellow jersey of the Tour de France. His has two stage wins in le Grand Boucle and top 10 a few times.
As Cadel crossed the line, the yellow jersey assured, they let out three roars of triumph and even the French conductor could only smile.
Here’s a short except because the whole thing in going into the post-Tour issue of Cyclesport magazine.
TS First reactions, just as a fan about Cadel winning the tour.
PA It’s good for the sport, it’s good for Cadel, A fresh face, you know? He’s finished twice second, he’s earned the respect of the whole peloton. He has’t had it easy these last couple of days.
TS: WHen did you get that first sense that, wow, he can win it this year?
PA On the Mur de Bretagne. You could see there he could have taken the yellow jersey but he didn’t. He just took it easy. He won the stage but he was so strong he could have ridden away from Contador and everybody. He controlled himself because he didn’t want his team riding all around France defending the jersey — you take the second to last day, it’s perfect. The last couple of days — he hasn’t got many friends in the peloton but defying all of that and came out today and did a magnificent ride in the time trial.
TS What was your assessment of the BMC team and how they rode for Cadel?
PA I think they know he’s a special guy. Everything has to go Cadel’s way or he falls — that’s what happened the last couple of years. but luckily the planets aligned and he rode a magnificent race. Nothing went wrong and everybody has to appreciate that.
TS What’s the one thing as far as character that impresses you most about Evans?
PA He’s a fighter. He always looks like he’s just hanging on by his teeth but he’s just eternally there. You think, aw shit, he’s gonna break, he’s gonna break and ten minutes later he’s still there. It’s like feeling sorry for that dog that gets kicked and keeps coming back. He’s got a tenacious quality, always fighting back. Doesn’t matter how he looks on the bike, h just goes out there and does it.
(That’s the tease because the rest goes into Cyclesport because, uhh, they pay a few of my bills.)