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July 25, 2011

2011 Tour de France, Part 2

With the crashes of the first half of the race behind him, Cadel Evans finally ascended to the top step of the Tour de France podium after winning the 2011 edition. Evans had twice finished second. It was a tour of firsts. Evans became the first Australian to win the world's most prestigious bike race, and the brothers Schleck, Andy and Frank, became the first siblings to share the podium, taking second and third, respectively. In an electrifying tour, Evans pulled out the win on the second to last day in the individual time trial, soundly beating both Schlecks to win the three-week race by over a minute and a half. A plucky Frenchman, Thomas Voeckler, had given French fans hope for ten days as he tenaciously clung to the overall lead, only to finally succumb on the grueling climbs of the Alps. He finished fourth overall. Defending champion Alberto Contador, perhaps weakened by his May victory in the exhausting three-week Tour of Italy, or Giro d'Italia, could do no better than fifth. Through it all, the beauty of France shone through. The Big Picture offers special thanks to Veeral Patel for making his photographs available. -- Lane Turner (34 photos total)

Australia's Cadel Evans (center) celebrates with BMC teammates on the Champs-Elysees after he won the 2011 Tour de France cycling race on July 24, 2011. (Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Images)

Jeremy Roy is cheered by fans wearing polka dot jerseys (the polka dot jersey is worn by the tour's best climber in mountain stages) as he rides alone in the fog in a breakaway in the 14th stage between Pau and Lourdes on July 15 , 2011. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images) #

Fabian Cancellara climbs toward the summit of the Col d'Aubisque during Stage 13 on July 15, 2011. Riders tuck newspapers handed to them by fans into their jerseys to insulate themselves on chilly mountain descents where speeds can approach 60 mph. (Michael Steele/Getty Images) #

Thomas Voeckler of France puts the overall leader's yellow jersey back on after removing an undergarment as he climbs in the pack towards Col de la Porte pass during the 14th stage in the Pyrenees on July 16, 2011. (Christophe Ena/AP) #

The leaders for the overall general classification, including yellow jersey Thomas Voeckler, head toward the summit of the Plateau de Beille during Stage 13 on July 16, 2011. (Michael Steele/Getty Images) #

Remy Di Gregorio of France rides during the 14th stage from Saint-Gaudens to Plateau de Beille on July 16, 2011 as fans cheer him on. (Stefano Rellandini/Reuters) #

The peloton climbs Col d'Agnes pass heading to Plateau de Beille on July 16, 2011. (Laurent Cipriani/AP) #

The peloton climbs toward the summit of the Plateau de Beille during Stage 14 on July 16, 2011. (Michael Steele/Getty Images) #

Fans wait at the summit of the Plateau de Beille during Stage 14 on July 16, 2011. (Michael Steele/Getty Images) #

(Left to right) Three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, Andy Schleck, and Thomas Voeckler climb towards Plateau de Beille during the 14th stage on July 16, 2011. (Laurent Cipriani/AP) #

Dutch rider Laurens ten Dam is covered with blood after a face plant on a descent from the Col d'Agnes mountain pass on July 16, 2011. Ten Dam finished the 168.5 kms stage with gauze wrapped around his face to cover his bloodied nose. (Koen van Weel/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Saxo Bank team mechanic cleans the bicycle of three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador of Spain on the second rest day of the Tour de France in Rochegude on July 18, 2011. (Laurent Cipriani/AP) #

A Dutch fan poses with an orange plastic octopus decoration in front of vineyards as she waits for the riders during the 16th stage between Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux and Gap on July 19 , 2011. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images) #

The peloton passes a sign supporting France's Thomas Voeckler during the 16th stage on July 19 , 2011. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images) #

Thomas Voeckler, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, rides in the rain during the 16th stage on July 19, 2011. (Christophe Ena/AP) #

Fans hold a sign supporting the yellow jersey of overall leader Thomas Voeckler as they wait for the riders on the roadside during the 16th stage on July 19 , 2011. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images) #

The peloton crosses Serre Poncon Lake at Savines le Lac in the French Alps during the 17th stage starting in Gap, France, and finishing in Pinerolo, Italy on July 20, 2011. (Christophe Ena/AP) #

Thomas Voeckler, is helped by a fan after he overcooked a turn on a descent and went off the road into a parking lot heading to Pinerolo, Italy on July 20, 2011. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images) #

A small group of riders climbs on the Col du Galibier during stage 18 on July 21, 2011. (Veeral Patel/O'nev Ciclismo Fotografia) #

Thomas Voeckler, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, rides Izoard pass during the 18th stage on July 21, 2011. (Christophe Ena/AP) #

Johnny Hoogerland of The Netherlands sprays himself with water as he climbs Izoard pass during the 18th stage on July 21, 2011. Hoogerland was the rider who cartwheeled into a barbed-wire fence on the 9th stage after car hit a rider and caused a crash. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani) #

On the Col du Galibier, (left to right) Cadel Evans, Ivan Basso, Thomas Voeckler, Damiano Cunego, Frank Schleck, Pierre Rolland, and Alberto Contador duel in pursuit of a breakaway by Andy Schleck on July 21, 2011. (Laurent Cipriani/AP) #

Thomas Voeckler clenches his fist as he retains the overall leader's yellow jersey while crossing the finish line on Galibier pass during the 18th stage on July 21, 2011. (Christophe Ena/AP) #

Alberto Contador (right) and Andy Schleck speed down Galibier pass during the 19th stage on their way to Alpe d'Huez on July 22, 2011. (Christophe Ena/AP) #

Dutch fans relax on the side of a hill at "Dutch Corner" on the Alpe d'Huez during the 19th stage. (Koen van Weel/AFP/Getty Images) #

Cadel Evans of Australia climbs Alpe d'Huez during the 19th stage on July 22, 2011. (Christophe Ena/AP) #

Alberto Contador punches a spectator dressed in medical garb who had been running alongside him sticking a stethoscope in Contador's face as he climbed Alpe d'Huez during the 19th stage on July 22, 2011. (Lionel Bonaventure/AP/Pool) #

France's Pierre Rolland celebrates with teammates on the finish line at the end of 19th stage atop Alpe d'Huez on July 22 , 2011. Although teammate Thomas Voeckler held the yellow jersey for ten days, a Frenchman had yet to win a stage before Rolland delivered on the iconic climb. (Nathalie Magniez/AFP/Getty Images) #

Australia's Cadel Evans dominates the 20th stage time trial around Grenoble on July 23, 2011. (Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Images) #

Luxembourg's Andy Schleck is comforted by his brother Frank Schleck at the end of the individual time-trial in Grenoble on July 23, 2011. Andy Schleck lost the tour when Cadel Evans soundly beat him on the stage. (Nathalie Magniez/AFP/Getty Images) #

Cadel Evans, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, toasts with a glass of champagne during the 21st stage of the Tour de France on his way to Paris on July 24, 2011. (Laurent Cipriani/AP) #

The peloton sweeps down the Champs Elysees in Paris on the final day of the Tour de France on July 24, 2011. (Veeral Patel/O'nev Ciclismo Fotografia) #

Jonathan Vaughters (right), manager of the Garmin Cervelo team, and 9th place finisher Tom Danielson pose with a cardboard cutout of teammate David Zabriskie as they celebrate winning the team prize on the podium on July 24, 2011 in Paris. Zabriskie broke his wrist in a crash on stage 9 and left the race. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) #

Australia's Cadel Evans poses with fans on the Champs-Elysees in Paris after he won the 2011 Tour de France on July 24, 2011. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images) #


 
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