Cadel Evans’ historic Tour de France win has been hailed as one of Australia’s finest ever sporting achievements alongside John Bertrand’s America’s Cup win in 1983 and Rod Laver’s all four Grand Slam wins in the same year, twice.
The Tour was “one of Australian sport’s last frontiers” said Sydney Morning Herald cycling correspondent Rupert Guiness, who has covered the prestigious race since 1987.
“To watch Evans in a near-perfect tour has been an absolute pleasure. He didn’t miss a beat for the entire three weeks,” he said.
Sharing the podium in Paris with Australia’s champion was the Transitions Optical sponsored cycling team, Garmin Cervélo, who celebrated victory as the overall lead team of the 98th Tour de France.
This team is about teamwork, sacrifice, working as a unit, and that’s exactly how we rode this Tour…
Garmin Cervélo, covered the total combined distance of 10,290km in 258 hours 18 minutes and 49 seconds equipped with high performance Transitions SOLFX sun lenses in Oakley Jawbone frames.
The number one team’s individual triumphs included Tyler Farrar kicking to fourth in the final-stage sprint and debut Tour cyclist, Tom Danielson placing in the overall top ten with ninth position.
Team Garmin Cervelo started the 2011 Tour with a bang with World Champion Thor Hushovd sprinting to third in the opening stage. The team then powered to victory in the team time trial in Stage two, putting Hushovd into the yellow jersey, which he defended for seven days, including over the Col d’Aubisique in the Pyrenees to take a surprise victory in Lourdes.
Hushovd won again in a transition stage to Gap when he and Ryder Hesjedal rode perfect tactics to deliver the team’s fourth stage win. Once into the Alps, the strong rides by Danielson, Hesjedal and Christian Vande Velde helped Garmin-Cervélo cement the team classification, measured by the time of the top-3 riders in each stage.
“This team is about teamwork, sacrifice, working as a unit, and that’s exactly how we rode this Tour. We came in with high goals and I think we’ve reached all those and more. We did it by working together and staying focused,” said Garmin-Cervélo manager Jonathan Vaughters.
Transitions Optical are in their second year of sponsorship of Team Garmin Cervélo.
“We’re thrilled for the team and send them our congratulations on an excellent triumph in this prestigious cycling event,” says Transitions Optical Marketing Manager for Australia and New Zealand, Kate Mulcahy.
The high performance Transitions SOLFX sun lenses used by the team were ideal for the changing weather and light conditions of the Tour, said Mulcahy as they “delivered darker lenses in sunny conditions and lighter lenses to assist in cloudy and overcast conditions.”
From Saturday 2 July to Sunday 24 July 2011, the 98th Tour de France comprised 21 stages, covering a total distance of 3,430.5 kilometres.