In Coffs Harbour, Paul Evans celebrates his son's Tour de France triumph.
In Coffs Harbour, Paul Evans celebrates his son's Tour de France triumph. Trevor Veale

Cadel's dad celebrates the moment

AS CADEL Evans stepped onto the podium of Australian sporting immortality, proud dad Paul was overwhelmed in his Upper Corindi home.

Half a world away, as Cadel held back tears donning the maillot jaune (yellow jersey) and being crowned Australia's first Tour de France champion, Mr Evans said he celebrated his proudest moment as a father.

"There were tears of joy that came to my eyes; truly a great moment," he said.

"What an effort. I'm told he's the oldest man to have won the tour in 88 years but the fact he's the first Aussie is the title that matters most. We're just so proud of him."

The grand tour win is the crowning glory of a lifetime of achievement for the 34-year-old former Woolgoolga student.

As the country's most accomplished cyclist, Evans adds the tour victory to his two previous second place finishes in Paris (2007 and 2008), his World Road Race Championship in 2009 and his two previous mountain bike World Cup wins.

"It's his greatest achievement, I'm just so lost for words," Mr Evans Snr said.

After watching all the emotion of the early morning time trial, Mr Evans went about his usual business manning his stall at Coffs Harbour's Sunday Jetty Village markets.

Fielding countless calls from Australian media outlets, he congratulated his son via a phone message and email.

As the toast of a nation, Cadel responded: "Little bit too much drama for me today."

"Incredible crowds - ears just stopped ringing," he said.

Already Prime Minister Julia Gillard is said to be considering a national public holiday in Cadel's honour.

Cadel said he was humbled by talk of a national public holiday in his honour.

"If it doesn't hurt the economy, that's fine by me," he laughed.


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