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BMC's Tour de France hopes left in tatters

Stephen Farrand
July 6, 2013, 23:35,
July 7, 2013, 00:39
First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, July 7, 2013
Tour de France
Cadel Evans (BMC) tries to limit his losses as he nears the Ax 3 Domaines finish line

Cadel Evans (BMC) tries to limit his losses as he nears the Ax 3 Domaines finish line

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Evans loses four minutes, van Garderen suffers in the heat

The BMC combination of Cadel Evans' experience and Tejay van Garderen's youthful promise was expected to be a serious threat to Team Sky in this year's Tour de France but after the first mountain finish, the team's hopes of overall victory were left in tatters.

Evans finished 4:13 behind Chris Froome, going deep and fighting to limit his losses for much of the climb up to the finish.

Van Garderen seemed to throw in the towel much sooner, suffering from the heat. He quickly gave up tying to limit his losses and finished 12:15 down.

Evans tired to recover in a BMC van but was pursued and filmed by a pack of television cameras. After cleaning himself up he accepted it had been one of the worst days of his career.

"It was my worst day at the Tour while I'm healthy. I was nowhere in the mix and with a few little problems. I knew I wasn't at my best but I didn’t expect to be this far off the best. I was too far away to even know what was going on up front," Evans said.

Evans tried to fight back, true to his never-die temperament, but revealed he had already gone deep on the Col de Pailhères after Team Sky set an infernal pace.

"Sky rode a tempo that was really consistent from when they started on the Pailhères until they hit the bottom of the climb Ax 3 Domaines. Not many people could match it," he said.

"I was already having a hard time on the Col de Pailhères and that's always cause for concern but Ax 3 Domaines isn't quite that high and when you're in the running for GC, a seven-kilometre climb isn’t usually a place where you have problems.

"I had a few physical problems getting into the mix and I couldn't push myself to my max. When you see 20 guys riding away from you, you know that you're a long way off the pace."

Van Garderen suffers in the heat

Evans is 4:36 down on Froome in the overall classification. He is 23rd overall but van Garderen hopes his team leader can climb back up the GC and perhaps finish in the top ten overall.

"We’ve just got to keep morale high and still take something out of this Tour. We still have a strong, motivated team and we can try to win some stages and try to get Cadel up there in the top ten."

The 24-year-old American revealed he suffered in the heat.

"On the first climb we did, the heat really started to get to me," he said, clearly despondent after such a blow to his own Tour de France ambitions. He is 44th overall, 12:38 behind Froome.

"It was strange because I'd done a lot to prepare for the heat with a sauna and I'd done good rides in the heat in San Luis and at the Tour of California, which were all really hot. I didn't think it'd be an issue but for some reason today it really seemed to affect me.

"There's nothing serious, it just felt like I couldn't have the power. I got a little bit of chills but I wasn't massively dehydrated. I felt my normal self minus 30 percent. We can’t miss that 30 percent when it's the Tour."

Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
hey where are all the Cadel fans.. LOL... does 4:13 down... two mins down on the other GC favourites qualify as getting dropped?? where is "romanmgreen", where is "rocket man"... where are the Cadel fans that gave me 12 downgrade for predicting that Cadel had no chance in hell of hanging with the big boys?? sorry... but you guys just don't understand this sport...
marginalgain More than 1 year ago
We do understand cycling and we are in mourning and cannot speak because that performance that dropped him was not normal. I am sad to say that I am finally and once and for all a cynic, skeptic and can no longer believe in miracles. Don't worry I feel sorry for myself.
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
marginalgain - if you thought based on the way Cadel has been riding compared to top tier competition over the past 1.5yrs that Cadel would be competitive... you DID NOT understand what you were looking at.... don't hide from that... Cadel was outclassed by everyone... not just Sky... out classed by everyone that mattered... that writing has been on the wall for 1.5yrs... this was very plain to see by anyone that knows the sport...
marginalgain More than 1 year ago
Terrence I agree with you
wheel chaser More than 1 year ago
At most times Sky had six riders escorting Fromme. Cadel had Tejay the "great BMC hope" who faded like the setting sun. His whole team let him down big time. Keep your head high Cadel, one man can't be expected to win the TDF.
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
wheel chaser - that does not even remotely make any kind of sense... lol... all Cadel had to do was follow the wheels and he couldn't... your team is not allowed push you up the damn hill which is the only way Cadel could have got up the final hill today with the front group...
Matic Robic More than 1 year ago
Terrence, you obviously do not understand sports at all, so go follow pro snooker and maybe some darts...
maplethedog More than 1 year ago
Well, I didn't think Cadel would even be in the top 10. But a few more days of these "marginal gains", and Froome is going to beat everyone by 20 minutes...
veganpotter More than 1 year ago
Yeah...Cadel losing 4 minutes in the first mountain stage is bad news. He's gotten dropped in other mountain stages and still finished well in GC but thats normally something that happens to him in the final week. When he's failed early...he's gotten weaker and weaker throughout the race.
SourKraut More than 1 year ago
Terrence. Nice demonstration of self righteousness. You need another hobby. Do you seriously hold grudges from online chatting? Go ride a bike.
romanmgreen More than 1 year ago
Hello Terrence here I am - it had nothing to do with your opinion of Evans' chances, it was your hatred in expressing it. It is almost like Cadel has killed your first-born. I still don't think you have any real knowledge or respect for cyclists who throw their bodies at this brutal sport. You just seem to kick them when they falter. I suspect you are not going to criticise Froome or Sky. Wonder why? You are not contributing anything thoughtful to the blog.
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
I have no idea what you are talking about... I talk/write very as matter of factly... I don't have any ill will to Cadel or any other cyclist... I don't even think realizing that Cadel was going to get his butt handed to him took any real insight... it was obvious... how can you look at a guy get dropped over an over again for a year and a half and think that he's some how going to up and be able to hang with the guys that have been doing the dropping? it makes no sense... nothing against Cadel.. I think what you observed is may amazement/confusion at the level that Cadel's fans were willing to delude themselves that Cadel would be a factor in this tour... again.. it just made no sense...
romanmgreen More than 1 year ago
Who said I was a Cadel fan? I just don't appreciate how venemous you are.
wheel chaser More than 1 year ago
You're brilliant in your own mind and that's about it!
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
no, i'm really not... I'm not brilliant for stating the obvious...
SourKraut More than 1 year ago
Terry. Go get yourself laid, if you can convince/pay someone to.
Highwaystar More than 1 year ago
There. Have another thumbs down champ.
philjthommo More than 1 year ago
Oh Terrance you arrogance bemuses me. You speak of Cadel as if he is useless and should not be leading any pro tour team. Lets just have a look at some facts regarding Cadel's past year and a half straight after winning his tour (although i know we like to ignore this). 2012 was slim pickings but still managed a overall win in Critirium International (not great competition), 3rd place in the Dauphiné (in front of your man Froome) and a 7th place in the Tour of which i think we all can understand was a good result considering his illness. 2013 he has raced very little but managed 3rd in Oman (behind Froome & Contedor), 8th in Trentino of which was a poor result and a 3rd in the Giro which is great. I know you speak of the Giro as some little bike race that only amateurs raced in but lets look at the time he lost in this race to arguably one of the best stage racers of 2013 (probably on form only behind Froome). TTT - Lost 23 seconds. Stage 3 - Gained time due to placing ITT - Lost 18 seconds (7th on stage) stage 10 - same time but ahead of Wiggins ;) stage 14 - lost 33 seconds, was outclassed (7th on the stage) ITT - lost 2 min 36 second, he obviously under performed (some call it a 'bad day') stage 20 - lost 1.50 of which was put down to a mechanical issue, if you actually watch this stage again you will see that Cadel was climbing back up to the Columbians (around 2km to go) prior to loosing heaps of time. This is why us Cadel fans get frustrated by your bias, spiteful dribble. Lasts nights stage was as he puts it 'the worst day in my TdF career' and all us Cadel fans will no doubt agree with him.
Pedal Pusher More than 1 year ago
All Cadel and BMC team had to do was get on the same juice being used at Sky. Froome arriving at the top of the climb just "Not normal" Sky Postal
movingtarget More than 1 year ago
Where were you in 2007 and 2008 and 2011. Easy to write off a 36 year old. Maybe you should be off hanging with the so called big boys. Everyone has hammered yesterday including Contador, Schleck and Rodriguez. Some people understand that unlike you, Evans was never going to win the Tour but his fans want to see him do well. Only cycling geniuses don't understand that. Knowing how to read helps. No one was picking Evans to win the race including his fans. Reading means looking at the lines and comprehending. Shouldn't you be under a bridge somewhere with the other trolls. LOL is such a display of wit. Try words instead of letters like the big boys.
rocket man More than 1 year ago
Terence This post proves you don't know a thing about cycling. Here's a tip, you can't learn anything from sitting around your coffee shop listening to your mates opinions after a 50km weekend worrier bunch ride. I'm not a big Cadel fan myself and I'm Australian. Your attack on a TDF winner for doing no more than staying out of trouble in the first week is down right disrespectful. Sure it looks like age has finally caught up with him but show the man some RESPECT. I have a question for you, when was the last time you were in a bike race let alone won a bike race? I've ridden in two criteriums this weekend and won today's race. Sure its only old man racing but at least I know about bike racing. Rule one to cycling:- you do not bag out other bike riders Rule two :- you do not bag out other bike riders Rule Three:- respect the advice of any cyclist with more experience than you. As a cyclist with much more experience than you I'm going to give you some advice. Enjoy the TDF for the spectacle that it is. Launching personal attacks on any rider in the TDF is just not acceptable.
wrinklyvet More than 1 year ago
rocket man, that's a great post and I am with you all the way. I don't think Terrence is the worst by any means as he does comment on the cycling. many of the comments under the main report on this stage are just so predictably offensive that they nearly spoil this site for me.
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
I've raced for going on 30 years now... only ever won two bike race... have been 4th at my provincial championships, mid teen in 3 national elite championships (back in the day)... i'm not champion, but I know about bike racing... I'm not raging on Cadel as I'm ragging on guys who just don't want to deal with reality... common sense...
Highwaystar More than 1 year ago
So you're like 50 years old but posting like a teenage troll? Don't believe bro, sorry. Here have another thumbs down.
Brandon Burkett More than 1 year ago
Lol BMC no one can keep up with the magic potion boys. Don't feel to bad.
PeterMc More than 1 year ago
De JaVu
bobcat More than 1 year ago
how did he come 3rd in the giro Terrence you make out he cant even ride a bike, overall he has had more consistant results at the tour than just about anybody, mate it looks like u just want a pat on the back from everyone no need to big note yaself bud we all sore what happened he had a bad day expected when your that age, we should appreciate that cadel is going around again this year his a great ambassador for cycling and leading by example to make the doped up sport more respectable. Cant understand why your trolling what do you want to get out of your comments leave the cadel fans alone there hurting you didn't beat him
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
I love talking cycling... and c'mon man... there was only one top tier guy in the Giro.. at least LEFT in the Giro... Nibali... and Cadel was no where near Nibali's level.. not in the same universe.. let me put it this way... Cadel finished behind the 4th or 5th top guy at Sky.. a domestique... and if three quarters of the high mountains hadn't been cut out he wouldn't have been on the podium at all... Cadel has had a good run... but he just doesn't have it any more... not trolling.. I think what you guys are mistaking for 'hatred' of Cadel is frustration at Cadel's fans inability to see the writing on the wall... 'there are none so blind as those that WILL not see...'
ericstkl More than 1 year ago
Terrence, I couldn't agree with you more. Evans is past his prime - his new role should be a domestique, but for who on BMC - that's a tough question to answer.
pskils More than 1 year ago
Terrance, you make a fair point. There can be few more ardent or enduring fans of Cadel than I. Back in the 90s I wrote lots of articles for VeloNews, Cycling Weekly and other publications about his domination of the mountain bike World Cup. I recall his first big international race at Mammoth Mountain, I think in '95 or '96. No junior-aged rider had ever done that well in a World Cup race. I have have had many conversations with Cadel and enjoyed every single one of them. I regard his road world's win one of the more gutsy and exciting rides I've seen. He's been racing at the top pro level for nearly 20 years, in a brilliant career he has won the MTB World Cup, the Road World Champs, the Tour de France and several lesser tours. Yet after burning so bright for so long the body's muscles and organs will finally start to wear beyond the point where skill, experience and confidence can compensate. I see no reason for Cadel to stop racing, but it seems fair to modify our expectations, and I think BMC has been doing this with the gradual introduction of Teejay.
marginalgain More than 1 year ago
Terrence, I think what most "Cadel fans" as you call them were expecting a little more after the Giro. As we all know he didn't go there to win rather than to prepare and as a result he finished on the podium. I do agree that the conditions of the race and maybe less Cadel's condition provided that result. That said he did race who showed up and still came third. My earlier point and I think most fans feeling here are was he just beat by a better rider or a team of 'prepared' riders. I am sick in the stomach after that performance from yesterday when a should be cheering in the 'new' righteous generation. Richie Porte is an Aussie yet I am still skeptical about that performance because we have all seen that show before. I don't have any proof that SKY is doping and I do not accuse any rider of doing so but I am afraid that what I saw is not what it seems.
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
marginalgain - but Cadel was anything but soft pedalling at Giro... and that's what he would have needed to be doing at the Giro to ride himself into shape for the tour without burdening himself with a tonne of residual fatigue in the tour... he tried.. and he made a meal out of that race.. which meant that he ended up in a WORSE place than if he had just prepared for the TdF directly... If Contador tried the Giro-Tour double and couldn't do it.. there was no way a fading Cadel Evans was going to.. it wasn't going to happen ESPECIALLY after he did the Giro in the manner he did it... Froome likewise faded severely at the Vuelta after the Tour... these guys are in their prime and couldn't do the GT double.. Cadel wasn't going to be able to do it... if I saw Cadel soft pedal most of the Giro and do a few stages strongly I might have felt differently, but he worked the whole race so it just wasn't going to happen..
marginalgain More than 1 year ago
your missing my point entirely. I agree with you about Cadel. Everything you write is a valid observation. My point and I will make this clear is that the infernal tempo set at he front by the SKY gods meant all the GC guys, including Cadel, had no chance. We are all pissed that we are once agin seeing something not normal. We are all pissed that playing field is once agin skewed. I might be wrong about SKY and I actually hope history will prove me wrong but we have all seen the movie before and we are all sick of knowing the finish before it has started.
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago doubt in my mind in that regard... finally we agree on something!
Matic Robic More than 1 year ago
Terrence you have been racing for 30 years and obviously do not have the first clue about training, seriously go read a book.
AlterCyclo More than 1 year ago
I have been a great believer in revival of cycling and clean cycling. The unbelievable performance of Froome and Richie Porte today shattered that dream. None of the other contenders were able to keep up with them. Cadel Evans, Contador, Garmin etc. being dropped had not much to do with poor form. Anyone that wants to be able to keep up with the Sky boys needs the "marginal gain" potion that they must have at their disposal. The major sponsor of Team Sky, BSkyB and its owner use various means to gain dominance of their competitors. Despite their lofty promises of clean cycling the total dominance of Team Sky this season is too good to be true.
jamsams More than 1 year ago
You're laughable. Porte and Froome didn't perform alone. They had Kennaugh, and Kyrienka to drag them up as well, they both produced massive efforts at the front. This allows the leaders to stay fresh longer. This is what Sky do. Other teams dont have this support and until they do Sky will keep winning. The days of a stage winning solo attack by drugged up cyclists are gone. Tactics have changed. Its up to the other teams to react to Sky's forward thinking. When was the last time you saw Froome or Porte OR Wiggins last year, attack from a ridiculous distance? All the amazing climbers of the past used to. They don't do it, they use their heads and work together and win in another way. Get used to it, stop being bitter and think about it, if you cant see it as a great cycling tactic then you should stop watching and take up golf or something.
philjthommo More than 1 year ago
I have never accused anyone of doping as I believe all riders are innocent until proven guilty (even if it takes a month or 20 years to prove guilt). That said you are making it sound like all the other big teams didn't have a full squad there to protect their riders. Saxo and Movistar actually had more riders then Sky going into the last climb.
Mulga Bill More than 1 year ago
Love that episode of the simpsons when ol Rupert yells the words to his minions...seize him!
Orlando Shorter More than 1 year ago
I dream of clean cycling too. I think there's another way of looking at this. The bad old generation (Contador & Valverde) are all finding it hard to prepare their usual way. Sky has hired a lot of the top talent that could be competing against them, thanks to their bigger budget, so we're in a talent vacuum. As for the Froome x Armstrong comparisons, Armstrong was neither a climber no a TT specialist, he was a very muscular "puncher" or "barouder" as the French describe it. Doping gave him abilities he never showed before. Froome was always a great climber, focus & training hasmade him better (I hope iit's that). If Sky are juicing, the amount of careers that will be ruined & the reputations destroyed would be immesurable, not even the TDF would be worth that. Brailsford, Wiggins, the whole of British Cycling & probably the British Olympic Organization as well. It would be carnage.
Julian Dupree More than 1 year ago
I just got done looking at Wikipedia to see Froomes Palamares.. I also looked at Portes as well. The lack of world class results for Froome before he went to Sky compared to other tour winners is astounding . Portes has some decent time trialing ability but still compared to other greats both of these guys had dramatic improvements in an extremely short period of time. Wiggins had dramatice ROAD Racing improvements but did have an outstanding world class track record. I don't want to jump all over TODAY'S performance as not normal. I will say the career progression is not normal.
NickoM More than 1 year ago
Agree. Nothing about that race today was normal. Now they have the lead they can wheel sit for the rest of the tour and make it all look less obvious. Anyone remember the day Floyd Landis rode a group of elites off his wheel to win the jersey? I wonder if Wiggins discovered the secret program and spat the dummy?
jamsams More than 1 year ago
The difference was Lloyd done it alone, Wiggins done it with his team dragging him up. Think about it, whats so unbelievable? Jealous much?
Cragz01 More than 1 year ago
Porte won the Tour of Bright when he was just transitioning from triathalon, which includes the 30km climb of Mt Hotham in Victoria(Check oput the Climbing Cyclist site for the profile). The following year he won the Tour of Tasmania which includes the climb of Mt Wellington(21km with an average of around 6 percent), this was the same race and climb that showed Evans promise 10 years prior. Perhaps it is the lack of magic juice in the current peleton that allows riders like Porte to come to the fore sooner compared to the early phase of Evans career(01-06). I find it improbable that Porte, who rode for Praties(Praties/Genesys/Huon Salmon-Genesys) which is still basically a team run on a voluteer basis, whilst he was working as a lifeguard at a community pool had the money and contacts that allowed him to illeagally manipulte his physiology to create the results that have progressed his career at such a rate.....but as a Tasmanian I may be a little biased :)
barn yard More than 1 year ago
you can win those races when the opposition are local B graders
Cragz01 More than 1 year ago
Let me know when you bag the Tour of Bright and match either Porte's, Evans' or Nathan Earle's times on the Mt Wellington climb. The point is that it shows a certain pedigree and in the case of Porte an ability to ride up a hill rather than his TT performances in Geelong etc. which was one of the points raised by Julian Dupree. Cheers
jamsams More than 1 year ago
You are totally right. Now the dopers are being caught, the riders of the peloton are stopping it. This just so happens to be at a time when Froome, Porte, in fact Team Sky as a whole change the whole tactical balance of the sport and ride primarily as a team, supporting their leaders with such a fierce pace that none of the best climbers can respond to it. Why this is so unbelievable to people beats me. People talk of Froome and Porte blowing everyone away but they did it in the last 7 km after exhausting everyone with their team work, it wasnt like it was a true solo attack, they still had four riders when they were 12 km from the summit. What other team provides that kind of support?
Fred53 More than 1 year ago
Cadel is an honest hard working rider. He has natural talent, was competitive from his first TDF. He was beaten by cheaters every year until he finally got his fair reward in 2011. Froome was not competitive in his first grand tours. Porte was. Froome is as clean as LA was. It's time for the dope police to get off their a$&s and find these dopers. Clean riders who can climb like Dan Martin were made to look ridiculous. It's just not good enough, UCI is destroying cycling and we will never put doping behind unless we weed these cheaters out. I also believe Nibali is clean, he has natural climbing talent, unlike LA and Froome, who found it somewhere outside their bodies.
Threepar More than 1 year ago
I think Porte's ride today was more suspicious than Froome's but both raise eyebrows. And I may be wrong, but I don't think Andy Schleck has ever doped either, along with Cadel.
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
Frank Schleck get's popped for masking agent used to hide his doping and Andy's performance goes through the floor... hmmmm... a guy who was climbing up col with Contador in the 3rd week of TdF like he was on a Suzuki all of a sudden is getting dropped on cat 3 in 1 week tours... c'mon man, it's obvious he's just come off the dope and just got back on it... maybe it's Frank that's organizes his dope for him... maybe that's why he can't ride without him... Kim Anderson, Andy's mentor and trainer is a 7 time dope cheat, tied with Abdujaparov for most doping positive ever, by a cyclist... Frank says he wired Fuentes (a gynaecologist by training and ran a blood doping lab) 7000 euros for "training plans"... these guys a so dirty it's not even funny...
veganpotter More than 1 year ago
Cadel was a very successful mountain biker...he very likely could have been dirty for that as well. Winning is the worst evidence imaginable for being clean. Also...being a puny guy thats a great(or at least was) time trialist is no more believable than seeing a huge Indurain climbing mountains even remotely well. As for guys that have always been good...there is a history of young teen dopers in other sports. You can never say someone is natually exceptional when there are teenagers doping.
Jay Tee More than 1 year ago
Sky money is limiting the doping ability of the others, or paid off the UCI and tour organizers. That's my theory anyways.
wrinklyvet More than 1 year ago
Lovely to have a theory, isn't it? Yours is as near to the truth as many of them on this site.
jamsams More than 1 year ago
What planet are you on? You just stink of jealousy and envy.
pskils More than 1 year ago
There is too much inexpert critique and analysis, too much baseless accusation. People should do their research and stop their compulsive knee-jerking. If you have some interesting information or insightful opinion to present to us then do so, but otherwise if you're going to sit yourself in the cheap seats the least you could do is keep quiet.
skwalo More than 1 year ago
Well, doped or not, I wonder if riding the Giro just took too much out of Cadel. That was a pretty massive "training" program. Pretty much all the other Tour contenders skipped the Giro.
Cragz01 More than 1 year ago
I wonder whether Cadel's Giro was more about proving his position as leader with management in light of all the speculation about his age/form combined with TVG 's aspirations. If so it's a pity to have possibly wasted what was probably his last TDF podium chance on internal team politics. In 2010 it was necessary for him to ride the Giro for BMC to get a TDF invite, but very few top contenders are able to successfully ride 2 GT's in a calendar year. As hard as it was to watch Evans going backwards last night I still loved the way he pushed to the poiint of sweating blood, where as TVG seemed to give up early and save himself to either ride for Evans in the coming days or aim for a stage win of his own.