A photographic timeline from Liège to Paris
The defending champion from 2011 arrived at the start in Liège more relaxed and happier than he’s appeared in the past. There’s pressure for him to win but it’s only because he places such demands on himself. He knows the BMC team is there to support him throughout the race and with a stronger line-up (on paper) it seems like he’s never been in a better position to win.
Evans didn’t enjoy the same winning success in his lead up to the Tour but he’s riding his eighth Tour and is fully aware of what’s required of his body to perform over this enduring race. Come the end of stage seven, Evans will have shown the level of his form and more importantly, how his competitors have dealt with the pressure of the opening week.
He won’t have the advantage of being the stronger time trialler this year as Sky’s Bradley Wiggins seems intent on bumping Cadel to the second spot when it comes to the time trial ability of the general classification contenders. Evans is however, a fighter and with the knowledge gained of what’s required to win a grand tour, he’s in a stronger position mentally to beat his British rival. Evans isn’t afraid to take the Tour into his own hands when necessary - something Wiggins will have to prove if the moment presents itself.
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