As the Tour de France approached the Alps, Cadel Evans was in the perfect position to win the entire race, since he only needed to keep up with his rivals on the mountains and then put in a good time trial performance which he was capable of doing.
However, with 60 km to go on Stage 18, Andy Schleck made the biggest move at that point in the Tour de France by attacking the peloton with two Hors category summits to go.
As Schleck approached the final climb up the Col du Galibier, the gap to Evans opened up to over four minutes and Evans' Tour hopes were beginning to disappear.
With over 11 km to go, Evans had no BMC teammates to help him against the daunting climb ahead.
As he looked around the sizable peloton, none of the other contenders were going to help him. This included defending champion Alberto Contador, who was already on the ropes at that point.
That is when Evans looked straight ahead at the four minute gap to Schleck and decided his Tour would be won or lost depending on how well he could chase down Schleck.
With over two dozen of the best riders in the world behind him, Evans began pulling the entire peloton over those final kilometers of the treacherous climb.
One by one, riders fell off the peloton as Evans kept driving forward kilometers by kilometer, never looking behind him for help, but only looking forward as he began closing Schleck's gap down to three minutes.
Soon, Evans' was left with only a handful of riders including Contador and eventual King of the Mountains jersey holder Samuel Sanchez.
With a few kilometers, Sanchez was the first to crack and then it was formidable Contador who finally faltered and fell off the pace.
As Schleck crossed the 1 km mark to go, the steepest part of the Gablibier climb came and Schleck began to falter, his legs crumbling, pace slowing, just trying to reach towards the end.
Schleck crossed the line, winning the stage in an incredible breakaway fashion, but the question remained, what the gap would be to Evans.
Evans approached the 1 km to go mark, with strength still in his legs. He conquered that kilometer, sprinting to the finish, and pushed down the gap to just over two minutes.
The overall general classification deficit to Schleck remained at a manageable 57 seconds.
After keeping with Schleck on the climb to Alpe d'Huez, Evans showed why that deficit was important.
Today, on the Stage 20, Evans' flew around the Grenoble time trial course to finish in second place behind stage winner Tony Martin of HTC.
More importantly, Schleck put in only an average time trial finishing 2:31 second to Evans. Evans grabbed hold of the yellow jersey , leading Schleck by 1:34 in the general classification.
By tradition, the final stage 21 to Paris will not feature any attacks against Evans and his yellow jersey, his victory in the Tour is secure.
Though, perhaps memories of his epic chase of Andy Schleck on the Galibier will enter into Cadel Evans' thoughts as he makes those final victory laps on the Champs-Elysees.
That chase was the defining moment of the 2011 Tour de France.
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