Tour de France 2015

Back on track

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 25 July, 2011, 12:00am

This year's edition of the Tour de France, with nail-biting tension through to the end, has offered one of the most exciting finishes in years - and without the serious doping blight of past Tours. Australia's Cadel Evans sealed victory yesterday, even though there was still one stage to go. The finale on the Champs-Elysees in Paris is a ceremonial ride because launching a successful attack on the flat last stage is virtually impossible. With defending champion Alberto Contador on the back foot, this year's race was the opposite of the Lance Armstrong era, when the American seven-time champion often stamped his mastery of the race from the first mountain stage - and rarely relented. Victory came more stealthily for Evans, who at 34 knew his days of possible victory were running out. The two previous editions, where he came second, were beset by high-profile doping scandals. This year there was only one, involving Russian Alexandr Kolobnev, who quit after testing positive for a masking agent. These images from European Pressphoto Agency, Agence France-Presse, Reuters and Associated Press show the grit and pain of every kilometre.