Australia bows down before 'King Cadel'

Updated: 2011-07-25 20:28


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Australia bows down before 'King Cadel'

BMCRacing Team's Cadel Evans of Australia, wearing the leader's yellow jersey, holds his bicycle in front the Arc de Triomphe as he celebrates on the Champs Elysees after winning the 98th Tour de France cycling race in Paris, July 24, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

SYDNEY - Australia celebrated its first Tour de France champion in 108 years on Monday with the achievement of Cadel Evans being ranked alongside the greatest moments in the country's rich sporting history.

With plenty of time to sharpen their pencils after Evans destroyed Andy Schleck in Saturday's time trial in Grenoble to assure himself of victory, the country's media was dominated by the story of the slender 34-year-old's triumph.

"King Cadel" trumpeted the frontpage of Melbourne's the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald led with a banner headline "Joy and agony of a champion" above a large picture of Evans all contained in a yellow box.

"Tour de Champ" raved Sydney's Daily Telegraph, while the Australian was the only of the major newspapers to lead on the Norway massacre with Evans - the "Tour champion 13 years in the making" - further down the front page.

Many compared Evans's breakthrough triumph to Australia winning sailing's America's Cup in 1983 to end the 132-year monopoly of the trophy by the United States.

"This is a historic day for Evans and a monumental day in the history of Australian cycling and sport in general," said Mike Turtur, an Olympic champion track cyclist and race director of the Tour Down Under.

"Cadel Evans also showed that he is a pretty special athlete, blessed with a very big motor ... this achievement by Evans puts him ... right up there with what we as a nation have achieved across any number of other sports at the Olympics, world championships and winning the America's Cup."

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