Evans has lead on Tour de France rest day

July 15, 2008 at 9:45 AM
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LANNEMEZAN, France, July 15 (UPI) -- Australian Cadel Evans owns the slimmest of overall leads as the 2008 Tour de France nears its halfway point.

Tuesday was one of two rest days for the Tour de France cyclists, who have completed 10 of the race's 21 stages. They also have next Monday off before the final six stages take them into Paris for the July 27 conclusion.

Evans survived a fall in Sunday's 10th stage and finished high enough Monday to claim the leader's yellow jersey by 1 second over Luxembourg's Frank Schleck. Christian Vande Velde of the United States is third 38 seconds off Evan's pace followed by Austrian Bernard Kohl, 46 seconds behind Evans, and Russian Denis Menchov, who is 57 seconds back.

"I'm only in the lead by a very small margin but, tactically, every second counts," Evans said Monday. "It's a long way to the finish and our goal has always been to have the yellow jersey in Paris. But as we saw yesterday, anything can happen in this race."

Wednesday's Stage 11 is a 100.5-mile route across southern France from Lannemezan to Foix. The ride includes a Category 1 climb about two-thirds of the way through the race and two Category 3 climbs.

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