Final countdown towards Tour debut
After a spell of bad luck long enough to make some question their place in the sport, Cadel Evans has bounced back in 2005 with a new team, a clean bill of health and plenty of Australian teammates. A strong Classics campaign preceded yet another break of his collarbone, forcing him to skip some pre-Tour races; but he's back into preparations for the Tour de France and tells Cyclingnews' Shane Stokes how it's all going.
Although the race wasn't originally on his 2005 programme, the Tour of Switzerland is an important benchmark for Cadel Evans. The Australian cracked a collarbone in recent weeks when he hit the deck while training in the Pyrenees, but is hopeful that his target of a strong Tour de France is still on track. The Davitamon-Lotto rider had just two days completely off the bike and then returned to the grind on an indoor trainer. Shortly afterwards, he got back out on the road and resumed his preparations for the Tour, with the biggest disruption coming from a re-jigged racing programme.
Evans had been planning on riding the Tour of Catalunya and then moving on to the Dauphine Libéré, where he would have been able to compare his form against the likes of Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer and several other big guns. Recovering from that spill meant that his programme was changed on both accounts; the 28-year-old now set to do just the Tour of Switzerland before heading to France on June 27th.
"I am happy with the way the first part of the year has gone," said Evans of his spring. "I've had no victories, but all went pretty much according to plan. I was always there where I wanted to be. In Paris-Nice and the Classics I was good - possibly good enough to win but, for one reason or another, it didn't happen. But I was up there. Overall things are building up well towards the Tour."
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