BMC Racing Team’s Cadel Evans is pleased with his fourth place at Criterium International and believes he is amongst the favourites after finishing 15 seconds down on Pierrick Fedrigo. While Evans lost relatively little time in the three stage race, Grand Tour rivals Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong lost 1:13 minutes and 4:51 minutes respectively.
“I think it was a good day for me,” said Evans. “It was a strange race because of the wind, then the general classification riders marked each other, that’s how the stage win went to somebody else [Frenchman Pierrick Fedrigo].
“It was a bit of a negative selection at the front,” he added. “It was a very closed race. I understand why Alberto Contador was going for the seconds.”
Two stages today stand between Evans and a possible victory. The first is a short, flat road stage which is followed by a crucial 7.7km individual time trial held around Porto-Vecchio in south of Corsica, where Evans has a chance to regain the seconds needed to win.
“The favourites are different now,” said Evans. “I was always keeping an eye on Samuel Sanchez and Chris Horner. I think they’ll be good at the time trial, plus David Millar and Michael Rogers are still in contention. I think the overall classification will be between those four and myself.
“On Sunday’s morning stage I’ll try to stay out of trouble,” he said. “The time trial is really short. It’s not a bad little course for me as there’ll be a climb at the start. This will be my first time trial of the year, so it could be good but I could be bad. I’ll look at it more as test.”
Evans recently came third at Tirreno-Adriatico but is still chasing his first win of the year. May’s Giro d’Italia is his first main goal for the 2010 season.