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By Rupert Guinness, Special to VeloNews
Cadel`s secret inspiration
Besides the comic book character TinTin being Australian climber Cadel Evans’ biggest inspiration, top-10 Tour de France contender has another force pushing him.
It is a blue wristband from his Italian girlfriend Chiara who is a classical pianist.
“She gave it to me to make my more aggressive on the bike,” Evans(Davitamon-Lotto) told VeloNews. “She said I needed to be more aggressive and every time I see it to think about that.”
The band, which he received on the rest day at Grenoble, seems to be working. Evans, riding his first Tour de France, was eighth at 2:14 in the 192.5km 10th stage from Grenoble to Courchevel on Tuesday.
The Aussie is now 13th at 5:55 behind Lance Armstrong who, according to Evans, is the real life version of TinTin in the peloton.
Pantani not forgotten
The name of the late Marco Pantani was on many people’s lips after Monday’s 10th stage to Courchevel.
In 2000, the popular Italian climber took the last of his eight Tour stage wins at the Alpine ski resort, which played host to ski jump events at the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics.
It was also at Courchevel in the 2000 Tour when Lance Armstrong used a media conference to fire up his rivalry with Pantani by going public with some harsh words for the Italian who had been allowed to win at Mont Ventoux by the American a few day before – but inferred otherwise.
Pantani never finished that Tour, pulling out with a stomach bug and never again competed in the race that has since became the domain of Armstrong.
Running rings on the Tour
Multi-Olympic and world champion Leontin van Moorsel has been on the Tour de France, working as a reporter for Dutch television.
Her big assignment on Monday’s rest day in Grenoble was to interview 1997 winner and five-time runner-up Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile).
However, while she no longer races the bike, the Dutch star certainly hasn’t let go of her elite sporting instincts. She is now a runner.
Van Moorsel plans to race this year’s New York marathon and has been training while at the Tour, running between 90 minutes and two hours each day, according to Dutch journalist Leon Kort who has just started running and yesterday even tested his new talents running with her.
We promised De Kort that we would keep how he went up against Van Moorsel a secret…and from what we saw, we’re doing him a favor.