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Evans’ focus shifts towards Tour de France after Giro podium

Barry Ryan
May 26, 2013, 16:39,
May 26, 2013, 17:46
First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, May 26, 2013
Giro d'Italia
Cadel Evans (BMC) fought hard in defense of his second place general classification position

Cadel Evans (BMC) fought hard in defense of his second place general classification position

  • Cadel Evans (BMC) fought hard in defense of his second place general classification position
  • Cadel Evans (BMC) would lose his second place GC position to Rigoberto Uran in the stage 20 finale
  • Cadel Evans (BMC) is assisted after finishing in the snow on Tre Cime di Lavaredo

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Australian finishes third in Brescia

Understandably, perhaps, given that a mechanical problem left him over-geared on the steep final ramps of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo on Saturday, Cadel Evans’ first act on emerging from the BMC bus ahead of the final stage of the Giro d’Italia was to check his bike thoroughly.

Evans lost second place overall to Rigoberto Uran (Sky) in the snowbound finale of stage 20 and his frustration with his equipment malfunction was palpable at the finish, as he investigated the damage and then shut himself in a BMC team car rather than speak to the press.

Twenty-four hours later, and with that initial disappointed digested, Evans was keen to look at his Giro from a different perspective and focus on the bigger picture. The Australian’s decision to enter the race was a late one, and given that his stated aim was to build towards the Tour de France, his place on the final podium in Brescia exceeded expectations.

“I came here, like I said from the first day, to recover the days of racing that I lost last year because of the illness and so on and get back to my best and yesterday I was really coming back close to that,” Evans said. “If you look at things in terms of the objective I set out to do here, it was actually really successful. Of course I would have preferred to have been second than third but to be on the podium in what was really in some ways a training ride – well, that’s something.”

When the race began in Naples, Evans was widely viewed as being among the second tier of contenders, a step behind Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp). While Nibali ultimately proved untouchable, Evans’ robust challenge outlasted that of both Wiggins and Hesjedal, who abandoned in the second week.

“This Giro has been tough. Every day when you think it’s going to be easy, it’s just been a disaster with crosswinds or thunderstorms or whatever,” Evans said. “But it was interesting for me to see what an experienced rider could do with no preparation. My main thing was to give my maximum and I did that. I made a couple of little errors and mistakes and had a few things that I couldn’t anticipate but that happens.”

Tour de France

Evans’ focus will now begin shifting towards the Tour de France, although he is aware that balancing the demands of the Giro and the Grande Boucle in the same season has proved an increasingly tough conundrum for general classification contenders in recent years.

“When you do the Giro and Tour, there’s less time to recover and less time to build up because of course you have to rest up before the Tour,” said Evans, who last rode both races three seasons ago, finishing 5th in Italy and 26th in France after fracturing his elbow in week two. “In 2010, I really had to dig deep as I was pretty ill and that’s what cost me a lot then.”

Evans will not race again before the Tour’s Grand Départ in Corsica on June 29, although he joked that his final programme still needs some tweaking. “Before I decided to go to the Giro, I already had a Tour programme. I think I was supposed to be going to Mont Ventoux tomorrow to do a course reconnaissance, but obviously we’ve had to move those things around,” said Evans.

“The first thing I have to do is recover for the Tour and then start training but the training requirement is not going to be very much because after the block of work I’ve had here, there’s not much more that I can do.”

BMC have already moved to dismiss any speculation that Tour of California winner Tejay van Garderen might lead the team in July and Evans’ solid showing at the Giro has doubtless helped to confirm the hierarchy. Accompanied by his son Robel on the podium in Brescia and on the post-race Processo alla Tappa show, however, Evans admitted that thoughts of the Tour could wait.

“I just want to go home and have some time to myself and not have my shirt pulled off me everywhere I want to go and just be a human being for a day or two,” he said. “Then I’ll start thinking about the Tour.”

NashbarShorts More than 1 year ago
Pfft. Evans will falter at the Tour and VanGarderen will be there to take over the GC hopes. Pretty sure of that.
Eric Blais More than 1 year ago
Why would you say that, he just did a really good Giro, has won the Tour, Podium on the tour, won the worlds etc... TJ won the TOC. TOC = Vacation time for the europeans. So not such a big deal The best thing that could happen for both them would be that both are on there A game. That would add a card to play in critical moments.
Chris Jasmer More than 1 year ago
What a dumb comment. Obviously you haven't been paying attention to this Giro.
TANK91 More than 1 year ago
Lol how is he dumb he said what any cycling fan should think how is it possible that a 36yr old Evans after a great Giro can do a good TDF, it not possible guys. Evans is older now too, he was struggling in 3rd week in this Giro, recovery is an important factor isn't it.
Scott Gee More than 1 year ago
36 years old is ...old? I guess Joop Zoetemelk is from Mars then. As for assertion that Evans recovery rate is somehow slower than a guy in his 20's, Id love to see where you got that. I mean other than "Bro" science, lol.
Peter von More than 1 year ago
I really hope to see both him and Van Garderen on the top of their game in july, could be a deadlye duo to handle.
Cance > TheRest More than 1 year ago
TJ Van Garderen is highly overrated. He hasnt shown much so far (TOC and 5th in TDFlat 2012) - hopes Evans will be the BMC leader for the TDF
Jittery Joe More than 1 year ago
I like both Cadel and TJ. What I do not like is haters :-)
Highwaystar More than 1 year ago
A lot of slightly negative comments here, I can see why due to Cadel's age, but there are older riders out there. And if the mind AND flesh is willing... what's to stop him from getting a similar result at the Tour? One thing many don't acknowledge is Evans' mental fitness. It's up there at its peak. 3rd is not second but what a result for a "training" ride. Even with the extra day off, you can't deny the mental effort Cadel produced to see this Giro through. Very, very tough character and one I will enjoy watching in 6 weeks time.
dspina More than 1 year ago
I think Cadel may just surprise a lot of people who write on these forums who don't use their real names. Cadel Evans has more guts and determination in his fingernail than you have in your whole bodies. My login dspina stands for Darren Spina tough guys behind a keyboard.
PeterMc More than 1 year ago
Totallyagree. So many keyboard warriors here wrote Cadel off 3 weeks ago. So many think he was a one hit wonder with the TdF win. my personal thoughts are that his podiums are made all that more remarkable given the teams he has had to "support" him in the past. On his current form, if he was given a supportive team with TJ working as (perhaps) an apprentice he could do very well.
veganpotter More than 1 year ago
Cadel had no "reasonable" excuses for having such a lousy TT...something that he specializes in. He's a great rider but when he cracks he really cracks. I do think TJ should be the focus this time around. He may be an even better TTer than Cadel now and probably "almost" as good on the less steep climbs and as of late...much better than Cadel on the steep stuff. Cadel is fine on the 4-6% grades but he's fallen apart in the last two years on the 10%+ stuff. Sure the TDF has less of that than the Giro but I think there will be enough that TJ will have moments of waiting for Cadel again. I have a feeling that after two weeks of TJ riding selflessly...he'll already be ahead of Cadel and thats likely with TJ waiting on a few climbs to pull him back into the yellow jersey group.
marginalgain More than 1 year ago
I think some are forgetting that Cadel wasn't on top form for the Giro. In interviews I have seen with him he has stated that the Giro has been brilliant for his prep for the TDF. I like many of you do not believe he has the punch, pretty much never did, to compete with the 'true climbers'. His strength is grinding and limiting his loses and capitalising on his strengths such as his TT when he won the tour. I think what Cadel has shown in this GIro is that an experienced rider can make things happen just by being in the right place doing the right things and having or making a bit of luck. I do not think he can win if the climbers attack and attack each other, however, if it is a dull and controlled race, like last year, and he gets better after this Giro, as expected, he could in fact challenge pretty well.
Roadman73 More than 1 year ago
Evans, Nibali, Contador, Wiggins are proven 3 week contenders. Tejay van Garderen has plenty of potential, he did well last year to finish 5th at the TDF. To finish in the Top 10 is a major achievement however to win a 3 week race and to be put under the microscope while doing it and having everything you do questioned and scrutinized is something completely different all together. Let riders develop naturally and at their pace, expecting more when they are not ready can lead to people looking at Di Luca like products to help them develop at other people’s expectations. People have questioned Cadel by saying things like he doesn't attack much or is attacking more now, i being it should be noted that riders who he was suppose to be attacking in the past have been busted or admitted to doping and as more of these known dopers left cycling Cadel has been attacking more. While all riders have their pluses and minuses, we know Cadel does not attack like Contador (he has not attacked as much since his suspension) because he is a different type of rider but i don't think he should be penalized because of that. Mauro Santambrogio left BMC to try being a Team Leader and he has had a fantastic year and perform well at the Giro, while he may not have had the goal of winning the Giro but a strong Top 5 was what he was aiming at and he finished just over 3min of a Top 5 finish. I say this because breaking into the Top 10 is hard and to break into the Top 5 takes so much more again. There have been plenty of riders make the Top 10 in GT or even podium but never step up to winning a GT rider like Tony Martin, Michael Rodgers, Yaroslav Popovych, Chris Horner, Maxime Monfort, Andreas Klöden, Tom Danielson, Nicolas Roche and Samuel Sánchez. You see these riders and the press on them when they were younger saying they will win GT's but haven't or not yet, let TJ develop and learn progressively and please extend some respect to Cadel Evans. He may not be flashy but he knows what is needed and how to go about doing it.
SaKiwi More than 1 year ago
yeees thumbs up roadman. Takes something TRULY special to win a GT and then something uniquely greater than that to win THE GT. Something that I'm unsure TJ has really shown ... but time will tell ;) .. besides not much point talking bout these two as in my mind El Pistolero will be El bazookalero this year!!!!