Alberto Contador's absence will make it more difficult for Cadel Evans to win the Tour de France again, the Australian has said. Instead of seeing the Spaniard merely as a rival for the crown, Evans saw him also as a good rider to measure himself against.
"Without Contador it will be harder to win the Tour de France. Now I cannot use the Spaniard as a reference point and his team will not take responsibility for the race," Evans told the Gazzetta dello Sport.
Evans added that the absence of Contador will encourage many more riders to go for their own chances.
"Other opponents will be more motivated if they feel they have more chances," he said.
Contador will be unable to ride the Tour this year because of the retroactive two-year ban handed down by the Court for Arbitration for Sport last week.