At the second stage of the Good Luck Beijing official road cycling test event on Sunday, Australians went one-two. Fastest was 2007 Tour de France runner-up Cadel Evans with a finishing time of 32'28.92" for the 23.65km course. Behind him by just under 25 seconds was three-time world time trial champion Michael Rogers. Alexandr Dyachenko of Kazakhstan finished third in 33'27.52".
"It's all good when you win," said Evans after completing one lap of the circuit which next year the men will cover twice for the Olympic Games event. "We are mainly here to collect information and be as prepared as we can be for next year, and we've certainly accomplished that so getting a result on the way is a nice little bonus."
The time trial circuit features a portion of the road race course, including a 10km climb straight out of the starting gate followed by a 10km descent all raced along the stunning backdrop of the Juyongguan and Badaling sections of the Great Wall of China.
Evans, who said the course suited him well enough, predicted that winds and humidity could make the Olympic race challenging next year.
In agreement, Rogers said, "It's certainly very hard from the start and it going to be a very challenging time trial," Rogers said. "You don't want to start too fast because you need a lot of energy for the last lap which will really make a difference. The downhill is very open with a lot of headwind and it's not a gradient you can roll down, you really have to pedal. There's no rest, not an inch of rest on the whole circuit."
Both Evans and Rogers were content with their results.
"It was alright (being beaten by Cadel)," said Rogers, who spent the last month recovering from a shoulder injury sustained when crashing into a metal guard rail at high speed during the Tour de France, and was racing in Beijing with a painfully cracked tooth. "He came here with super condition out of the Tour (de France), and I was quite happy with my ride."
Evans, who's time trial win along with fifth place in the previous day's road race, gave him overall victory in the two-day event, noted the time and effort to make the trip, when many other top competitors elected to stay home or take on other races, was well worth it.
"For me I'd never been to China before and to come in and get an idea of what it's like and what the people are like means we come into a slightly familiar environment which is a good thing," said Evans. "Also to have experienced the climb under race conditions is really helpful for next year."
For coverage the Good Luck Beijing test event, click here.