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Evans joins our Aussie legends
Evans joins our Aussie legends

Cadel Evans' tour de force in the Tour de France places him close to the top of the pantheon of Australian sporting champions.

It's a monumental task to assign a position in Australia's top 10 all-time great sporting performances for Evans' world-acclaimed achievement.

In the afterglow of his magnificent victory, which has been lauded around the world, it's tempting to list Evans as the new No. 1, not that there is an official list.

No tape or stopwatch can measure elite performances across different sports and opinions will vary widely, but few Australians will forget the events of 1983 when skipper John Bertrand engineered a remarkable victory at Newport to clinch the America's Cup.

For 132 years, the challengers had come to the New York Yacht Club and left empty-handed, but it was the Aussies who finally ended the longest winning streak in sporting history. The knock on the America's Cup is that it's a sport for a select band, but this was no ordinary yacht race.

Rod Laver's tennis record is worthy of the No.2 ranking.

Many have tried but none has succeeded in winning the grand slam - all major titles in one year - since the Queenslander did it in 1969 as a professional in the open era, repeating his efforts of 1962 as an amateur.

Evans, therefore, is in exalted company, following his king of the road performance after 21 stages covering 3450km in the world's most famous bike race.

The Olympic Games has provided Australians with some cherished moments, and none more so than Dawn Fraser's trifecta of gold medals at the Melbourne Games in 1956, Rome in 1960 and Tokyo in 1964.

Cathy Freeman skipped around the Olympic Stadium at the Sydney Games to collect gold as a nation stopped and cheered.

And WA's Herb Elliott's gold medal in record time in the 1500m in Rome capped a remarkable career. He retired unbeaten after 42 races over a mile and 1500m.