I really feel for Cadel Evans. Six kilometres into the first mountain stage and an innocuous crash fractures his elbow. He struggles on, collects the yellow jersey in Avoriaz but the following day on the Col de la Madeleine the injury’s too much and he has to surrender the race lead.
If it wasn’t for bad luck,
I wouldn’t have no luck at all
As I said the other day, you’ll find it harder to have a rider with more bad luck. Now I’m not sure if this is true but you can argue he’s seen bad luck rob him of the last three grand tours. The Vuelta went because of a late wheel change; a virus struck his chances in the Giro and now a broken elbow puts him out of contention in the Tour. Now before you leap to the comments section below, even on the best of form I’m not sure he could have won the Tour but the podium was certainly possible.
Above all, the greatest disappointment will be personal. Sylwester Szmyd put it well on his blog last night when he wrote about Evans saying “I know that for him, cycling means everything in his life”. It’s true, Evans puts in a lot of work and above all, personal commitment into his riding and he must wonder what he’s done to see so many moments of untimely bad luck.