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BMC’s Cadel Evans is in a bit of a hole in his bid for victory in the Tour de France after he conceded time to the other hopefuls in the rain-splattered prologue and lost teammate Mathias Frank to a crash.
Evans, who finished 23rd place at 39 seconds behind winner Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank), said that the wet conditions had prompted him to hit the brakes “more times than I normally would have.”
“I certainly took less risks than I would have intended to in the dry. But that’s the way it goes,” said the world road champion, who took the runner-up spot in 2007 and 2008 but finished a disappointing 30th last year.
There were “varying degrees of a bit slippery for everyone, except for the very first few guys,” he added. “So it was more or less a fair race, and it looks like the best guy won.”
As for Frank, his first Tour de France campaign lasted less than 10 minutes. The 23-year-old crashed, injuring a thigh muscle and breaking a finger, after sliding out on a white traffic band.
“It’s impossible for him to bend his knee,” team manager John Lelangue told AFP. “In his state, he won’t be able to start Sunday’s stage.”