There is no doubt Cadel Evans win the Tour de France was an outstanding achievement by an Australian athlete. Many have billed it as the greatest individual victory by and Australian sportsperson. Some backing this up by saying that the Tour de France is the biggest annual sporting event in the World.
That last statement along with Cadel’s achievement is relative. Having been in the UK for most of the Tour even though their own Mark Cavendish became the first Englishman to win the coveted Green jersey coverage was moderate, it was far from over the top. In fact The Open golf and Darren Clarke’s victory in that had far more coverage.
It was great to see Cadel Evans win and prove so many of his doubters wrong. There is no doubt he is an incredibly single-minded athlete and that has at times rubbed people up the wrong way, but sometimes that is what it takes to get to the pinnacle.
He is the oldest winner in 88 years since Henri Pelissier won in 1923. He is only the third Champion to come from outside of Europe since the race commenced in 1903. He has taken Australian cycling to a new high, honouring all those who went before him, the first rider taking part back in 1914, to Phil Anderson being the first Australian to don the yellow jersey, and Robbie McEwan who won three green jerseys. It is a magnificent achievement.
However this country has produced many outstanding athletes on the World stage and we should not be asking is one better than the other, for all have had obstacles to overcome and all have put in hours of hard work to reach the top. Let us not compare but celebrate them all, for they deserve to share our admiration, not compete for it.