Evans and Boonen prove their point

by jimmythecuckoo   September 28, 2009  

Cadel Evans leads the GC contenders group during Vuelta Stage 14 © Unipublic

It was tough going at times but in the end the 2009 World Elite Road Race Championships lived up to expectation.

I will cover the GB team first as it wont take long to say that it didn't work out as we had all hoped and despite Geraint Thomas getting in the main break of the day David Millar had a tough time and abandoned.

Once it was clear that one of our boys wouldn't win I wasn't sure who to switch my allegiance to. My first choice wouldn't have been Cadel Evans, but what a ride!

Before that I was enjoying the return to form of "Tornado" Tom Boonen.

After his win in Paris Roubaix (which still got criticised in this very blog) I had 100% forgiven my favourite classics rider for his previous indescretions and was proudly wearing the QuickStep hat I bought at the 2007 Tour de France.

It was a further shock when he failed a test again for the gear and I was thoroughly fed up with him by the time he was going to court to get into this years Grand Boucle.

The fact that he flopped spectacularly and abandoned with very little fuss made has hopefully turned his career around and yesterday saw him back to his best getting amongst the key breakaway of the race.

He didn't have the legs to get up the climbs on the last lap and sat up before taking off his sunglasses and puffing out his cheeks. It was a great bit of television seeing one of the best one day riders in the world blowing up in the same way us mortals do.

I am delighted to see Tom back and am already looking forward to next April (mainly because it is the month I am getting married, but also for the Ronde and Hell of the North). Whilst Boonen was making his return to the big time, one man who has been tugging at the shirt sleeves of the top riders for ages now finally had his moment in the limelight.

Cadel Evans has been in danger of becoming a laughing stock. The Australian had been there or thereabouts in many races but had a shocker in the Tour de France. It would have been a shame if history had only remembered him for threatening journalists or complaining about people appearing to step on his dog.

Yesterday he produced the perfectly timed attack and rode away to win the championship. It was a brilliant move and it left Kolobnev and Rodriguez looking at each other. Fabian Cancellara had been the main animator in the final hour of the race but he was riding with his heart and not his head.

Whilst the Swiss attacked numerous times uphill, on the flat and on descents, Evans attacked once and with such force that the race was his.

His celebration left a bit to be desired and he is clearly still going to be viewed as wierd for how low key he made it.

I don't care though. I was a patriotic Brit cheering an Aussie. Not many people can make me do that... so well done Cadel.