Men At Work

Cadel Evans is sporting a Free Tibet base layer in the 2008 Tour de France
Cadel Evans sports a Free Tibet base layer | Tour de France | Photo ©: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

I think some Chinese Olympic officials’ heads just exploded.

I wasn’t aware of Cadel Evans’ Free Tibet campaign until this past Sunday’s Tour stage where it was visible as he crossed the finish line, but evidently he’s enlisted Sock Guy to create some Free Tibet base layers and socks with 20% of the proceeds going to the grass roots activist organization Students For A Free Tibet. It seems that Evans has been wearing the base layer since this year’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege where it was first spied when Evans unzipped his jersey while climbing.

Evans is definitely heading to Beijing to represent Australia in the individual time trial, and I wonder if he’s feeling rambunctious enough to heed the call of this ad campaign. From the few articles I’ve read where Evans is discussing the issue, it appears that he’ll adhere to the nicey-nice code enacted by Australia’s and most (if not all) national Olympic committees and not make any waves. But it’s not like you’d want to telegraph such motives in public. I really wonder how far Chinese officials will go to prevent such a display from occurring…will they check luggage? search athletes as they assemble to begin a competition? Who knows.

And now for the quote of the day regarding Simon Gerrans’ stage 15 victory in Prato Nevoso, Italy:

If there is ever a nuclear war and all of mankind is wiped out the first living thing that will crawl out of the cracks will probably be the cockroaches, but they will be followed closely by Simon Gerrans.—Dave Sanders, Australian cycling coach, talking about Simon Gerrans being virtually indestructible.

Exactly three years ago from the date of Gerrans’ first TdF stage victory, Simon finished in 3rd just 8 seconds behind stage winner Paolo Salvodelli on the 18th stage of the 2005 TdF (Gerrans’ first Tour). I still remember this photo showing a completely spent Gerrans rendered inert not too far past the finish line. He just dropped to the street with his bike cast aside, all wonky against the crowd control barrier. What an effort. Maybe in three years time Danny Pate will experience a similar turn of fate.

Comments (18) to “Men At Work”

  1. Good spotting (and the headline was a nice touch)!

  2. …not a big fan of cadel evans (his old mtb wrench, tommy mac is a good friend & has nothing but good things to say about him, naturally) but i gotta give the lad props for regularly sporting a top that states his belief…

    …most times, when asked, the majority of pro-peleton-ers are apolitical & vague, so it’s good to see the little aussie stand up for what he sees as right…& which most of us would concur…

    …i believe i read somewhere that athletes will be allowed to wear gear expressing their sentiments outside the olympic venue…where i’m sure any “locals” they’ll encounter will be of a controlled nature & yet not w/in the confines of the venue, where naturally all the press & tv cameras will be…

    simon gerrans“good on yer, mate”…& danny pate‘you, sir, rode a brilliant stage & while you looked so crestfallen & disappointed in that interview, we viewers were both bursting w/ pride over your efforts but hurting along w/ your emotions’

  3. That quote by Gerrans’ former coach is awesome.
    I miss you. Do you miss me?

  4. Nobody misses Jason.

    Cadel, he would be OK if he could somehow change that voice of his.

  5. This Tour has left a bitter taste in my mouth. I like Sastre a lot, and this victory is abundant recompense for years of near-misses, but basically what we saw was the world’s strongest team take turns beating up a single guy until one of them got enough of a gap to hold him off in the time trial. You could tell from the time trial that Evans had nothing left at all, while Sastre was relatively fresh after two and a half weeks of sheltering behind the Voigt-Cancellara-Arveson-Schleck phalanx.

    And I’ll bet Evans felt reeeal good about having the lanterne rouge watching his back for the third year in a row.

  6. …speaking of “men at work”…final gc: - #103 - juan jose oroz @ 2:56:12…good on you, j.j….

    …i beg to differ as regards cadel being beaten up during the tour insofar as team csc/saxo bank & team silence/lotto have both had the opportunity to build their squads over a number of years…
    …in light of evans’ steady progress, particularly w/ him having placed second last year & along w/ the fact that robbie mc-ewan had no one riding in support of his finishing capabilities, what exactly were silence/lotto’s plans in this race…popovich is one guy but where were the others, budget or no…
    …teams are big enough nowadays that even accounting for other major races that need be accommodated for sponsors, if you employ a tour contender, then perhaps he needs proper backing…

    …i’d say this tour was not only well raced on the roads but better thought out by csc/saxo before a peddle was turned…bjarne riis proved to be an intelligent tactician from the beginning…it was no accident that all the energy was focused on the schleck brothers earlier in the race while riis’s ace card, the deserving, carlos sastre waited quietly in the wings…

    …my prediction ???…cadel evans, having just pissed away his best opportunity this year, will never find himself better than third or lower in future ‘tours de france’…in a sense, a pity…

    …bravo, carlos…you took & carried the maillot juane well…salud !!!…

  7. You might want to check in on the antics of last year’s BFH winner; he just won the American XC championships (again) on a single chainring, and then just barely missed the podium at the St-Anne world cup. It seems he’s gunning for a repeat.

  8. i don’t think we differ at all: csc was a strong, deep team and were able to take down a guy who had virtually no team support behind him.

    the question here is whether evans is an “innocent victim” or not. every year marc sergeant says that the team will be stronger next year, and then every year evans is isolated in the mountains again. why evans keeps believing sergeant’s promises is beyond me. but by this point he should have figured out that lotto will never field a strong set of climbing domestiques. i don’t know when his contract comes up, but if he signs with them again he’ll have effectively forfeited my sympathy . . .

    and yeah, i remember when mcewen complained that he had no support in the sprints. i thought, they’ve got no one for the sprints, they’ve got no one for the mountains: who are these clowns?? a bunch of guys with an alchohol problem, according to alan peiper . . .

  9. …well, sebastian…i hadn’t read the alan pieper quote but alcohol certainly isn’t a problem for me (i’m a ‘one good beer’ at a time, kinda guy these days) so i guess we could raise a beer together & toast these disingenuous fools…

    …i guess it has to be looked at like any other business, w/ both good & bad decisions…riis & dir. andersen: thumbs up…sergeant, redant & dir. frisson: not so much…of course i’d feel that it was a bigger shame if mr evans lead by better example…& when i refer to lead, he did that for maybe 500 meters in all those miles…

    …no one ‘fears’ evans…respect his capabilities ???…sure…but fear ???…uh, uh…kinda like levi… just sayin’…

  10. Cockroach is a great name. It’s just as good as, ‘the flea of torrelavega’ Given to the spanish climber, Vicente Trueba, the first to win the KOM introduced at the 1933 Tour!

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  12. How far will they go?? Wonder if that “slip” at the nightclub was the result of Chinese agents not wanting to see him in the games?

  13. sorry to draw this out, but when did i say “fear”?

  14. …seb…you didn’t say it or imply it…

    …i did…& i see that as a fundamental flaw in a “tour favorite”…when your competition knows that your best basic ’strength’ move, is nothing more than a counter, then strategy becomes simplified…you’ve patterned yourself & you offer nothing to “fear”

    …i’m not condoning the unwholesomeness, but if we can look beyond the allegations of the “armstrong era”, intimidation was such a wonderful factor amongst the main protagonists, over so many tours…there was “fear” & personally, i found it exciting…

  15. re: the “cockroach” line — watching a grizzled, leathery jeannie longo roll up for a seventh olympiad has led me to suspect she’d probably find her way out of the post-apocalyptic rubble before gerrans would.

  16. Jeannie Longo is already talking about 2012! It’s amazing that she’s competed in every Olympic Games since cycling was introduced for women in 1984.

  17. …although the heavy rain didn’t suit her style or prep (as w/ many others) miz longo, “le grande dame” of womens cycling was always in the mix until the very end…

    …quite a (continuing) feat…

  18. man, i was bummed that longo missed out on bronze by less than two seconds — time she lost on a mechanical, to boot! i guess i associate with that ’80s era i have so much nostalgia for. watching her medal would have been like like seeing hinault or lemond medal.

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