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Evans still ambitious for the third week of the Giro d'Italia

Stephen Farrand
May 20, 2013, 15:40,
May 20, 2013, 16:41
First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Giro d'Italia
Cadel Evans leads Vincenzo Nibali

Cadel Evans leads Vincenzo Nibali

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Australian avoids question about Tour de France team leadership

Cadel Evans (BMC) agreed to ride the Giro d'Italia just five weeks before the start in Naples, accepting he needed the extra racing if he was going to be team leader at BMC for the Tour de France and competitive against the likes of Chris Froome, Bradley Wiggins and Alberto Contador come July.

After a difficult 2012 and a nasty virus that wrecked his season, he started 2013 cautiously and was careful about his ambitions for the Giro d'Italia. He never predicted or expected that he would be second overall, just 1:26 behind Vincenzo Nibali (Astana). The dedication he showed in preparing for the Giro and his experience of Grand Tours have helped him survive and take advantage of two weeks of eventful racing, while others big-name riders' hopes have fallen away.

"My objective was to do the best I could. Going from there to second overall is not so bad," Evan said during his rest day press conference.

"Of course, me being the ambitious rider that I am, it's not impossible for me to win. But I'm a bit greedy and always ask more from myself.

"I see a really good Nibali and a good Astana team. He deserves to be in pink. He's been able to cover everything that has been thrown at him far. Compared to the other 12 Grand Tours I've done, it's been a real test of teams, of concentration, of bike handling, physical ability, of climbing, of being good on the flat, in the cross wind, in the heat, in the cold. It's been a test of everyone and everything in the race. It's been interesting to say the least. Now with a week to go, with a few more opportunities to go, we'll see where we go from here."

Asked if he can win, if he can pull back his 1:26 deficit on Nibali in the final week of the Giro, Evans was pragmatic but definitely not resigned to defeat or just a place on the podium.

"Well, I've got more chance than others," he pointed out.

"I suffered on the stage to Bardonecchia and thought I wasn't at my real level but yesterday (Sunday) I wanted to see how I felt, if it was more serious of not, and I was happy to see I was back at my level.

"The first weeks have been hard and with the third week we enter in a new dimension when it comes to fatigue. But he's got his experience too, he's won a Vuelta and rode well at the Tour last year. But if you don't try, you don't achieve anything.

"If I didn’t have hope, I wouldn't have any hope. You always hope for the best in life. But you never know whether that's realistic or not. I think my experience will help me come in a little but underdone in the third week but maybe Nibali will be untouchable till the end and I'll have to settle for something. Other than first position in that case. C'est la vie'."

The Tour de France, Tejay and team leadership

Evans is rightly focused on the Giro d'Italia but could not avoid questions about the Tour de France and the debate about if he or teammate Tejay van Garderen will be team leader in July.

"The reason for me starting the Giro was to get in a big block of racing. It could be too much but I'd rather do too much than too little. I don't want to be underdone for the Tour. Going to the Tour like I did last year doesn't give me any satisfaction," Evans explained.

"Last year I didn’t discover I had the virus till August. Before that I was working away and doing everything to be my best for the Tour but then I went there and didn’t perform and didn’t recover."

Asked if he had seen van Garderen win the Tour of California, Evans took advantage of the time difference between Europe and the USA.

"I was sleeping during the Tour of California stages," he said. "But I guess it's a big break for him being American. I guessing he's very happy. But a Grand Tour is a big insulator from what's going on in the world."

Pushed to comment if he will be the team leader for BMC at the Tour de France, he said bluntly. "I'm not even thinking about it at this stage. I want to get this Giro done first and then we'll see."

Stingray34 More than 1 year ago
It would help the team if Cadel just said, "if TJ is better than me in the Tour, I'll ride for him." Ego can be a nasty thing. BMC are enjoying good fortunes right now, it would be best if they could keep the love flowing.
malknight More than 1 year ago
He's never said otherwise. If you listened to TJ last year he said he'd be barely hanging on Cadel's wheel had he been fit. Cadel is the contracted number one. Soon as TJ demonstrates he can win the BIG one he's the back up. What Cadel is doing now is a heck of lot harder than TJ's efforts in California. I bet BMC are kicking themselves now. They have their TDF team in California while Cadel does the Giro on his own.
foamman More than 1 year ago
that said, i thought morabito + 1 other didn't do such a bad job on the galibier. at least being there half way up to give a few words of encouragement to cadel albeit not so much "pulling" was good to see (mind you i was pretty tired and am a self assessed couch expert/cycling kook, although i have been known to ride to the shop for a pie once in a while). ps. despite what the picky observers might say, i personally have found this giro really entertaining. hard as nails cycling in f#*ked up conditions...yiiiieeeeeew!
JamesT More than 1 year ago
Two weeks before Giro, Bruyneel called beach vacationed- Alberto Contador to help Kloden and Leipheimer in GC but he will rule with his consistent ride to beat Ricco.
iride712 More than 1 year ago
Yes, Contador hopped off a plane after sunning himself on a beach to beat Ricco, Di Luca, Pelozotti, Sella, Priamo, Van de Velde, Schumaker, Kohl, Leipheimer. Tell me what each of these riders shares in common? Do you really believe it's just consistent riding? Comparisons to 2008 and Contador etc are ridiculous given what we know now.
JamesT More than 1 year ago
Maybe, Contador and Froome are the only riders will dominate the Tour de France 2013!!!
Evan Shaw More than 1 year ago
Good grief the guy won the TDF and TJ has not proven himself in a grand tour. Leadership is earned. If Cadel is riding less well than TJ of course he will support him.
Chris Jacob More than 1 year ago
TJ was 5th in last years Tour even though he was slated in a support role most of the time. And in today's day and age, not too many ride a great Tour after bagging a podium spot in the Giro. So demanding to do both. We'll see who ends up leading BMC in July....
cthenn More than 1 year ago
Even though both BMC and Sky may have leadership issues at the Tour, I see these situations as 180 degree opposites. Maybe because the BMC guys are more likable, but I think Sky is going to implode at the Tour. I could easily see a situation where one of the BMC guys gets in trouble early and has no problem helping the other, but there is a zero percent chance the two Sky men will be helping one another. This could be one of the best Tours in years, not only for the participants, but for the team drama as well!
rainwatrz More than 1 year ago
Sure hope Pinarello has lots of extra bikes on hand when this comes to a head.
OldAussie More than 1 year ago
If I catch Wiggo's bike when he throws it, can I keep it?
devlin More than 1 year ago
Ride it like you stole it!!!!
PeterMc More than 1 year ago
LOL Sir Wiggo would never catch if you go up hill.... :-p
hulkgogan More than 1 year ago
Don't you mean downhill?
jayreeding More than 1 year ago
It's clear to me that Wiggins split to start prepping for the tour. He used the Giro as a prep. He is the incumbent TdF champion, there is no way he is going to hand over thew lead to Froome without a fight. This is an age-old story. Lance/Contador, Hinualt/LeMond, Evan/VanGarderen and Wiggins/Froome. Interestingly enough this may have not only been Wiggin's plan, but Sky managment's plan. They want to win the tour again, they got a taste of the spoils and want more. And so does Wiggins..
WilGirod'Italia More than 1 year ago
Preparation or not, Wiggins went to the Giro and got hammered... Not sure that would do well for his morale or status within the Sky team. I don't think he can stay with Froome on the mountains if Froome is in form.
wrinklyvet More than 1 year ago
Wiggins may have intended it as a preparation, but he certainly did not intend the bad days or to get sick, so I hope he bounces back in good time to ride as we know he really can. That should be interesting. This news report, if you could really call it that, is really about Cadel and the Giro. I think he has it in him to be on the podium but the win seems unlikely. Does anyone think Nibali will crack? it doesn't seem too likely.
Adrian Nastasoiu More than 1 year ago
Wiggins is always vulnerable when his team is not protecting him.He won the TDF thanks to Froome who chased down every threat.
wrinklyvet More than 1 year ago
Thanks Adrian for that gem - that's what Froomie was paid to do last year. That's teamwork. People should stop running on about this one. We all saw what happened last year and the repetition shows that despite all comments to the contrary the Sky team have the power to add interest. This is a news item about Evans and many of the comments are about Sky riders, which tend to illustrate my point.
ailsab More than 1 year ago
I agree, Wiggins only won the tour because of Froome, Porte, and don't forget Michael Rogers huge effort.
Mark Schwitau More than 1 year ago
There is no way Wiggins purposely came to the Giro to get his asss kicked as a way of training. I seriously think he wanted to win. He tried, gave it a good shot but it just didnt work out this time. No crime. But I don't think he planned to use it as a block of training. Hell, the giro is just as respected as the tour in many ways. Perhaps he had it in the back of his head to win both. I could make that leap. Plausible.
Raoul Duke More than 1 year ago
Wiggo quit because he was doing poorly and may have been sick. Can't see why this would be to advantage of Sky management at all. Much nicer if Wiggo could have won the Giro and Froome the TDF. I think even if it was his sole ambition Wiggins would not win the TDF again.
Raoul Duke More than 1 year ago
I think Nibali will have to have a bad day for Evans to win. Seems very plausible a Nibali-Evans first and second though
PeterMc More than 1 year ago
That is still an awesome result for 'Del when you read the pre Giro comments on his chances by a lot of people on these pages.
dnicemunchoff More than 1 year ago
Heeeee's baaaaaaaaack. This Giro's been great, happy for Nibs and return of Cuds, but I can't wait for Sky vs Bmc vs AC @ Letour. (Or is it sky vs sky, bmc vs bmc, AC vs peds)? :)