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Wednesday, 21 September 2011
Page: 11144

Mr FRYDENBERG (Kooyong) (12:37): I rise to acknowledge the remarkable sporting achievement of a remarkable Australian. At age 34, hailing originally from the Northern Territory, Cadel Evans has achieved what no other Australian has achieved before: winning the Tour de France. Like millions of Australians, my wife and I stayed up late in the night to watch Cadel's performance over the gruelling 21-stage, 23-day, 3,430-kilometre race. As part-time riders and survivors of Tony Abbott's Pollie Pedal, we watched in awe as Cadel showed his sheer skill, tenacity and physical capability.

This year the race, in its 98th year, was full of drama and suspense as Cadel came from behind to seize the yellow jersey in his brilliant ride in the individual time trial through Grenoble on the penultimate day. His battle up the Alps with the Schleck brothers, Andy and Frank, and last year's champion, Alberto Contador—who, by the way, my wife said has the best name in world sport—was something to behold. So too was the incident on the final days, when Cadel struck technical difficulties with his bike and was forced to jump on another machine and chase down those ahead, making up what seemed like a mountain—excuse the pun—of time. Watching the tour, it became abundantly clear how important Cadel's colleagues in the BMC team were to his eventual win. The yellow jersey may be worn on the shoulders of only one, but it really is a victory shared by all. No doubt Cadel will be hoping for a similar team effort when he seeks to repeat his victory next year. But, whatever the result in 2012, Cadel Evans has secured a treasured place in the annals of Australian sporting fame. It caps a wonderful career for Cadel, which has seen him progress from being a medallist at the 1995 world mountain bike championships, to the Commonwealth Games time trial champion in 2002, to being the 2009 winner of the world championship road race in Switzerland.

I know I join with hundreds and maybe thousands of riders in Kooyong, from Hawthorn to Kew, from Camberwell to Balwyn and from Surrey Hills to Canterbury, in congratulating Cadel and his wife Chiara on this brilliant achievement which will inspire many other Australians to take to their bikes. Cadel, you have made your country proud, you have made your family proud, but most of all you have performed to the best of your abilities and fulfilled your lifelong dream. No person could hope for anymore.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Murphy ) (12:40): By way of finality, I too would like to associate myself with the magnificent contributions that have been made by honourable members to the statements about someone who was clearly an inspiration. We hope that his efforts in France inspire many young people to follow the dream that he followed, not to mention the great benefit to health and lifestyle. Yes, Cadel Evans kept my wife and me up late. We were enthralled with the SBS broadcast, and they should be congratulated for that, particularly Phil Liggett for his very incisive comments. Finally, Cadel certainly presents as a very modest and humble Australian. He brings great credit to our country. He is a wonderful ambassador. Indeed, Cadel Evans you are a great Australian and I too salute you like other honourable members.