Evans happy to be back in yellow at Tour of Romandie

BMC Racing wary of Vinokourov

Cadel Evans of the BMC Racing Team took the overall lead Saturday at the Tour de Romandie on the strength of his eighth-place finish in the penultimate stage, a 20-kilometre individual time trial.

On a day when strong winds plagued the later starters, Evans finished 44 seconds behind stage winner David Zabriskie (Garmin-Cervélo). Evans now leads Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) by 18 seconds with only a 164 km road stage remaining.

"I'm very satisfied," Evans said. "Two weeks ago, I didn't do the classics races because of that training ride crash, so coming back here I didn't know where I was. But I worked hard with some good people around me and came back at a good level."

The Australian also praised compatriot Richie Porte (Saxo Bank Sungard) for his performance, finishing in second place, 2 seconds back on Zabriskie.

"[It's] nice to see the Tassie boy back near his best again," he said.

Evans last won this race in 2006. Saturday marked the second time he has pulled on a leader's jersey this season, following his overall victory at Tirreno-Adriatico last month.

"This is a race that has always suited me," the 2009 world road champion said. "I used to live here in Romandie, so I feel a bit at home. For BMC being a Swiss company, it's an important race."

Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said the BMC Racing Team will be vigilant on Sunday.

"I'm confident we have a full seven-man team who will be riding strong to defend the jersey," Lelangue said. "We have to be careful because it's a short, difficult stage. We're more worried about Alexandre Vinokourov [third overall, at 19 seconds] than Martin. He already proved he can make that kind of stage [like his win on Friday]."

Evans said he is hoping for "a safe group sprint into Geneva."

Meantime, Taylor Phinney and his stars-and-stripes BMC timemachine TT01 didn't fare as well. The U.S. national time trial champion crashed into a wall about 700 meters into his race against the clock.

"I think I got just a little too a too excited," Phinney said. "I did some damage to my cleat and shoes and hip and back, but my knees, elbows and shoulder are fine. For a crash, it probably looks terrible, but I didn't get too hurt."


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