Australia's yellow jersey favorite Cadel Evans skirted with disaster on Sunday after crashing during the Tour de Frace ninth stage. After 115km of racing on the descent of the Cat.4 Col de Buret, it was sudden diaster for Evans (SIL), who crashed hard with several other riders, ripping his jersey wide open on the right shoulder and cut up his left elbow knee and thigh. Evans changed his bike and got back to the peloton with the help of his Silence-Lotto teammates
It is the first major incident of this year's race for Evans, who finished runner-up last year to absent Spaniard Alberto Contador. His Silence-Lotto team director, Hendrik Redant, told France 2 television he was unaware of the details of the crash and would only know the extent of Evans' injuries after consulting the team doctor afterwards.
"It was quite a heavy crash, and from what I can tell he's got scrapes on his elbow, leg and back and it's sure to be hurting," said Redant. "The good thing is he's got back on the bike and it looks to be going well but we'll only know how he really is after the stage."
Redant said he had not heard anything by his team leader from his radio earpiece. "He (Evans) hasn't said anything to me yet. He stayed calm, which is a good sign." Evans was brought back into the peloton by his teammates as the Euskaltel riders continued their bid to chase down a breakaway which had a lead of 10 minutes.
30 minutes after his crash, Evans dropped back, and held on to the side of the doctor's car while Porte cleaned the numerous wounds on Evans' thigh and elbow. Evans then rejoined the peloton with around 80 km to ride in the 224km race, the the first of three days in total in the Pyrenees mountains. Dr. Porte later told France 2 television: "He's got numerous scrapes on his elbow, thigh and hip but they're mostly superficial.
"He's a bit worried about being able to climb properly. But medically his injuries, for us at least, are not too worrying."