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Evans: Astana are the favourites and I won't miss Kohl

Daniel Benson in Paris
October 23, 2008, 0:00 BST,
April 20, 2009, 21:55 BST
Tour de France News, October 23, 2008

By Daniel Benson in Paris Cadel Evans was quick to summarise his impressions on the spectacular...

By Daniel Benson in Paris

Cadel Evans was quick to summarise his impressions on the spectacular parcours and his own credentials at today's Tour de France presentation. The Silence-Lotto team leader and runner-up in 2008 also made clear that the lose of Bernard Kohl would not harm his chances of overall victory.

"One word sums up the Tour route for me, 'interesting.' It's really going to draw out the general classification riders pretty early on so I'm going to have to be very attentive throughout the race. Just like this year, though, it could come down to the wire on Ventoux. It's going to be a very tiring race."

Evans was quick to place the tag of favourites and pressure onto his rivals at Team Astana, and in particular Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong. "On paper I'd say that it's a really good Tour for Astana – perhaps even made for them. We'll have to see if Lance rides but even without him they're a really strong team."

During this year's race Evans seriously lacked help from his team in the mountains and his rivals forced him to chase them down unaided on countless occasions. Evans feels additions made to the roster will add strength and much needed cover.

"My team is also shaping up really nicely. Of course we lost someone this month [Kohl - ed.] but it's good to catch the cheats and I'm always going to stand up for the fight against doping. But it's a loss to lose a rider so late in the season, but we have Tomas Dekker and Charley Wegelius. I'll be much better supported in the mountains next year."

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