THE great tragedy of Cadel Evans' Tour triumph is his long-time coach Aldo Sassi is not here to watch it.
Sassi died late last year of cancer and had a massive influence in Evans' career after the Australian switched from a successful mountain biking career to the road in 2001.
In his victory speech after the time trial Evans acknowledged his mentor.
“Aldo Sassi said to me last year now you have won the worlds you've made yourself a complete rider, but you can win a grand tour. I hope for you it's the Tour de France,” Cadel said.
“It was he who believed in me from October 2001 never did he doubt my abilities,” he said.
Congratulations have flowed in for Evans from far and wide since the time trial, including praise from race rivals Frank and Andy Schleck.
“Congrats (sic) Cadel. You deserve that happy for you and your team BMC,” Andy Schleck tweeted.
“It's been a great battle looking forward to next year all ready!!!.”
Frank Schleck wrote: The best won. andy_schleck and me are proud to be on the podium.thx to @leopardtrek”
Evan's wife Chaiara Passerini put it simply “My Golden Boy.”
BMC team mate George Hincappie, who dedicated his tour to getting Evans over the line wrote: “Yes Yes Yes.”
While seven-time winner Lance Armstrong wrote: “Congratulations to Cadel Evans. thatwasademonstration”.