Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

New Leader after Team Time Trial

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

New Leader after Team Time Trial

Article excerpt

NICE, France --

Simon Gerrans started cycling because another Australian, who first wore a Tour de France yellow jersey, lent him a bike to help him recover from an injury.

Now Gerrans is wearing a Tour leader's jersey of his own.

He was part of the Orica Greenedge squad that won the team time trial by less than a second Tuesday in the fourth stage, putting him in the overall lead.

One day in yellow doesn't place him in the category of his famous countrymen Phil Anderson, the first Aussie to wear the coveted jersey in 1981, or Cadel Evans, the 2011 Tour winner.

But Gerrans, 33, is still proud of his accomplishment after Anderson introduced him to the sport.

"Phil was the first Australian to wear the yellow jersey and now to be the latest Australian to wear the yellow jersey, it's a very special feeling," he said.

Considered an outsider to win the 15.5-mile dash along the streets of the southern seaport of Nice, Orica edged pacesetter Omega Pharma-Quickstep by three-fourths of a second and finished in 25:56. The top four teams finished within 10 seconds of each other.

Gerrans, who won the third stage in a sprint finish, took the overall lead from Belgian rider Jan Bakelants.

Chris Froome of Sky team is three seconds behind Gerrans for the overall lead, and two-time champion Alberto Contador is six seconds behind Froome.

Gerrans said Anderson was his first coach and "lent me a bike to get started in competitive cycling" as a "form of rehabilitation because of some knee injuries I sustained while racing motorbikes."

Gerrans, who is not a contender for overall victory, hopes to keep the jersey for "a couple more days." The next two stages are mostly flat, so he may well be able to protect his lead if there are no crashes or he gets another stage win like he did Monday.

The Orica riders formed a circle and then hugged and slapped each other on the back when they were sure of the win. …

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