Coppi e Bartali: Evans on form

Cadel Evans fell slightly short of taking his first and the team's first win of the 2009 season. The...

Cadel Evans fell slightly short of taking his first and the team's first win of the 2009 season. The Australian of team Silence-Lotto finished second to Italian Damiano Cunego (Lampre-NGC) in Thursday's Coppi e Bartali's stage three.

"I wanted the stage. We have not been able to gain one yet: misfortune in the team time trial, a surprise in Faenza from Cunego and Serpa," he said to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Evans fired from an elite eight-man group in the final 1000 metres of the 163.4-kilometre stage. Unfortunately, he brought along fast finisher Cunego for the last stretch up Serramazzoni.

"The first attack was to make the selection. ... Then I was ready to make a second move, but I waited a long time, too long. I was not able to pull back Damiano."

Silence-Lotto is desperate for a first 2009 victory, as its Belgian rival Quick Step already has eleven wins. If Evans does not deliver in Italy, then a win could come from a teammate this weekend in one of the two weekend races in Belgium: E3 Prijs or Brabantse Pijl.

Coppi e Bartali's 178.5-kilometre run from Massa Finalese to Finale Emilia today will suit the sprinters. Evans may have his chance Saturday when the stage race ends with a demanding stage to Sassuolo.

Evans travels to Spain next for the País Vasco stage race, April 6-11. He will then race the Ardennes Classics: Amstel Gold (April 19), Flèche Wallonne (April 22) and Liège-Bastogne-Liège (April 26). He will follow these one-day races with the Dauphiné Libéré, June 7-14, and then the Tour de France, July 4-26. (GB)

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