Cadel Evans pips Alberto Contador to win Flèche Wallone
Aussie rider wins his first Classic to add to his world championship
World Champion Cadel Evans overhauled Tour de France winner Alberto Contador to win the second of this year's Ardenness Classics this afternoon in the Flèche Wallone.
The victory is Evan's first in a Classic and comes two years after he finished second in the same race behind Luxembourg's Kim Kirchen. The BMC racing rider made his decisive move within a few hundred metres of the finish at the top of the Mur de Huy, negotiated three times during the 199.5Km race, just as Contador seemed set to clinch victory after catching and passin Euskaltel Euksadi, Igor Anton, who had got off the front of the peloton as it approached the final kilometre.
The Australian rider, who won the rainbow jersey with a stunning attack in Mendrisio, appeared to have been left behind, but as Anton and Contador approached the finish line, he dug in and found reserves of strength and speed, his bike swaying from side to side as he bridged the gap.
Team Katusha's Joaquim Rodriguez overtook Astana's Contador in the closing metres to finish in second place and it had been his Russian team mate, Alexander Kolobnev, who led the race in to its closing two kilometres as the sole survivor of a breakaway that had included the likes of Roman Kreuziger and Frank Schleck.
Top 20 Flèche Wallone 20101 Cadel Evans (AUS) BMC Racing Team (4:39:24) 2 Joaquim Rodríguez (ESP) Katusha (same time) 3 Alberto Contador (ESP) Astana (same time) 4 Igor Antón (ESP) Euskaltel (+6) 5 Damiano Cunego (ITA) Lampre (+9) 6 Philippe Gilbert (BEL) Omega PharmaLotto (+11) 7 Chris Horner (USA) RadioShack (+11) 8 Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Caisse d'Epargne (+11) 9 Andy Schleck (LUX) Saxo Bank (+11) 10 Ryder Hesjedal (CAN) Garmin (+11) 11 Michael Albasini (SUI) HTCColumbia (+11) 12 Bert De Waele (BEL) Landbouwkrediet (+11) 13 Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) Liquigas (+11) 14 Christophe Le Mével (FRA) Française des Jeux (+11) 15 Robert Gesink (NED) Rabobank (+19) 16 Francesco Gavazzi (ITA) Lampre (+19) 17 Xavier Florencio (ESP) Cervélo (+19) 18 Daniel Martin (IRL) Garmin (+19) 19 Sébastien Minard (FRA) Cofidis (+24) 20 Jurgen Van den Broeck (BEL) Omega PharmaLotto (+24)