18 July 2013
Almost nine minutes.
You lost almost nine minutes on the Mont Ventoux.
You, former winner of the Tour de France in 2011.
Then again, I could say the same to Andy Schleck.
He lost more than ten minutes on the same mountain.
It seems unreal that this is happening.
I remember the battle between the two of you in 2011.
Your heroic fight in the mountains to keep up with Andy.
Must be hard for you to see that others are better.
A new generation is taking over.
And may I say that you’re not the youngest anymore.
I assume that your age plays a great role in this.
You are 36 years old, one of the oldest in the peloton.
It’s not a shame that your legs will protest earlier.
On the other hand, we’ll have to miss the interviews with you.
With your dry sense of humour, your one-liners
and your typical Australian accent.
The press is not interested in you anymore.
The man from Australia, who once won this big race,
now plays a side role in the whole part.
Still, the public has not forgotten you.
Especially not the Australian people.
I have never seen so many kangaroos alongside the road.
Of course, they are also cheering for that Australian team,
but I’m sure that they are also very proud of you.
I know you will not quit this Tour before Paris.
You’re a fighter, you want to reach the finish.
I might pull a sad face in the upcoming days when
you are dropped again from the peloton in the mountains.
But that’s only because it hurts to see someone struggle
who was once the best rider of the peloton.
Cadel Evans in his BMC kit / © Sirotti & Steephill.tv