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Evans the leader for the Tour de France, says Ochowicz

Barry Ryan
May 26, 2013, 22:01,
May 26, 2013, 23:01
First Edition Cycling News, Monday, May 27, 2013
Giro d'Italia
BMC's Jim Ochowicz and Cadel Evans before the start

BMC's Jim Ochowicz and Cadel Evans before the start

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Van Garderen to ride in supporting role

Leadership contests are destined to fill column inches in the build-up to the Tour de France, but BMC general manager Jim Ochowicz has confirmed that his team will enter the race with a fixed hierarchy - Cadel Evans as leader and Tejay van Garderen as his chief lieutenant.

Van Garderen finished in front of his leader at last year's Tour (the American was 5th, two places ahead of Evans) and impressed in winning the Tour of California last week. Simultaneously, however, Evans was riding his way to a podium finish at the Giro d'Italia and Ochowicz said that the Australian was always going to be handed the reins in July.

"Cadel goes in as captain, we've never said anything other than that and Tejay accepts that and has made similar comments," BMC general manager Jim Ochowicz told Cyclingnews in Riese Pio X on the final day of the Giro. "We're not confused about what we're going to be doing at the Tour and we take it one day at a time once we get to the start."

Although Ochowicz hailed Evans' third place finish at the Giro as exceeding expectations, he dismissed any notion that he had needed to produce that kind of result in order to guarantee his position in the BMC hierarchy at the Tour ahead of van Garderen. "No, it was only preparation to get the legs in the right cycle," Ochowicz said.

For his part, Van Garderen pointed out earlier in the season that riding himself into a high position overall while working for Evans - as he ultimately did last year - was not a contradiction in terms.

"It's a long race," Ochowicz said. "The start in Corsica is going to be interesting, there's a team time trial again and then we hit the Pyrenees. By the time we get to the Pyrenees the race will have already taken a bit of shape and we'll know where we stand when we get there."

Giro d'Italia

It was Ochowicz himself who convinced Evans to ride the Giro, pitching the idea that he needed more racing in his legs ahead of the Tour de France. When Evans spoke of harbouring ambitions of a top-three finish before the race in Naples, his words seemed uttered more in hope than expectation but he eventually succeeded in becoming the Giro's oldest podium finisher since 1928.

"We felt like Cadel needed more racing before the Tour just based on the numbers of prior years and together we decided this would be a good place for him to be this month rather than trying to do other things," Ochowicz said. "He didn't have as much time to prepare as he would have liked but he did as much as he could and I think the outcome was more than we expected coming in here: we really weren't thinking podium.

"Having done that helps the team and gives us more motivation for the Tour. It's good for the whole team. When your captain is showing up like that, everybody's level steps up too. We're all now preparing for July and for us this is a big boost."

Although Evans declared himself pleased with his podium finish, he suffered disappointment on the penultimate stage to Tre Cime di Lavaredo when his gears jammed in the steep final kilometres and he lost out on second place to Rigoberto Uran (Sky).

"When they're standing up on those bikes putting out 400 watts in those kind of conditions weather-wise, things can happen," Ochowicz said. "We're not even exactly sure what happened but there were some problems with the gearing and if you don't have the gear, it's a little bit difficult, especially in those final kilometres when you're just giving everything you've got left."

chrisdwyer More than 1 year ago
Hmmmm. Van Garderen is my tip for the an upset at the Tour.
Alpe73 More than 1 year ago
You're on the same wavelength as my good buddy, Billy Hill - VJ at 25-1. I'm wit youse guys.
Alpe73 More than 1 year ago
.....mmmmm that would be Tejay (oops) :-)
TShame More than 1 year ago
Van Garderen will beat Evans in every time trial. At least Wiggins can still beat Froome on the flats.
Alpe73 More than 1 year ago
No arguments there ... my point is that despite his rising stock, Tejay garners no better than 25-1 odds to win. If he does pull the 'upset' I'll be very, very pleased for him.
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
Alpe73 - Evans had ZERO chance to podium at 2013 TdF.. if he hadn't have the Giro in his legs... with Giro in his legs... it will be a stretch for him to finish inside the top ten... TeeJay has nothing to worry about.. Evans will be out the door REALLY fast... this will be rather embarrassing for him.. Ochowicz is a complete moron.. the Giro actually demonstrated concretely that Evans in NOT on the level of the best in the world... Nibali showed that he just might be... but Evans showed he was not fit to smell Nibali's chamois... Contador, Rodriguez, Froome, Valverde will eat him alive... not to the second rung of guy like Porte and TeeJay... TeeJay just needs to do like Contador and ignore Ochowicz and ride his own race...
rastymick More than 1 year ago
Who would have believed that Evans would finish on the podium at the Giro? This was quite a strong performance! TvG can only profit from Evans presence at the Tour - and if Evans cracks on one of the tough mountain stages, I think they won't "force" TvG to wait this time and potentially lose several minutes... When that happens he will slip into the leader role quite naturally. I expect TvG to be a bit stronger than Evans at the Tour and I see him again arount the top 5 - if everything works perfect for TvG maybe a podium spot is possible.
sur la plaque More than 1 year ago
He may upset Evan (again)... but would be amazed if he reaches the level of Contador, Froome et al over the 3 weeks...
Ken Bellone More than 1 year ago
Was thinking the same. With the present odds, what's the harm in throwing a few bucks on him. Remeber Indurain was working for Delgado, Ullrich for Riis in '97. Stuff happens.
pinocchio More than 1 year ago
no chance
epofuel More than 1 year ago
Both are good riders, but TJ seems to be the up and coming guy, while Evans is riding into the twilight. But hey, if Evans falters, TJ will get his chance. The bigger question is HOW IN HEAVEN´S HOLY NAME Ochowiz is still in cycling? How did he escape the whole Motorola Postal storm? Incredible.
blemcooper More than 1 year ago
I think folks wanting old guys like Evans to step aside in favor of young bucks like van Garderen, and to a lesser extent Wiggins / Froome, should look at Nibali and his path to great success. He was in Basso's shadow and service for four years at Liquigas, taking his time, learning his craft, getting his opportunities and doing great (whether it's a epic win at the Vuelta or podiums at the Giro and the Tour) without all the public grumbling and sniping. When the time came to leave the nest, he left without apparent acrimony, he was ready, had a plan and so far has executed it to perfection with this Giro win. We'll see how much further he goes at the Vuelta and the Worlds later this summer. Maybe he could have jumped to the top spot on a team years earlier (jeez, he's only 28 even now!), but that's not the only way to go or necessarily the best way.
tralala More than 1 year ago
nibali obviously has great advisers and also is a smart guy. i don't imagine him refusing to give basso a wheel at the 2010giro really. teejay is rushing but that's ok, he's young and it's good that he wants to tests his limits and stuff, but he needs to be protected from himself otherwise he'll crumble under the pressure he puts on himself so early. and this non stop talk the fans are doing is useless, because it's not like any of the 2 will atack. they'll both be thankfull if they can follow wheels in the mountains. and i bet teejay won't be asked to stay behind or anything, he'll probably have a free role and will help only if cadel has a chance of winning.people are just looking for something to talk about.
Willy_Voet More than 1 year ago
Yes, Tejay helping 36 year old Cadel to 6th place overall is a much better strategy than exploring the limits of a 24 year old who placed 5th last year. BMC is doing right to make him play 2nd fiddle. With any luck he'll move to another team next year and BMC can focus on Cadel earning another top 10.
PeterMc More than 1 year ago
Take Sir Wiggo as an example. Jumped to the top after a short Road internship and has been dropped as team captain in the defending race.... TJ would do well to ride with 'Del and learn the craft from one of the gritiest riders in the peloton. A chance to learn from someone who hasn't always had the luxury of a purpose built team for his achievements should be jumped at by anyone who wants to succeed.
Chuck_T More than 1 year ago
Excellent post blemcooper.
cjmorten More than 1 year ago
What a stupid strategy for the team. If Cadel is the guy for the TDF, then send Van Garderen to the Giro and let him go nuts. Keep Cadel out and let him peak for theTDF. Every year we see the guys from the Giro disappoint in July. I am really getting annoyed with BMC. Tejay is just as good as Cadel, give him the damn team and let go for a podium in France.
Robert Hightower Jr. More than 1 year ago
Evans is washed up will not finish in top 10. A wasted talent TJ. Evans chokes this year at TdF, he should keep his fat mouth shut. Always the same BS. Old broken down athlete get what they want, young impressive athlete gets screwed. Evans is not BMC present or future!
9000ft More than 1 year ago
An old broken down athlete that just finished on the podium of one of the most demanding Giro's in a while.
samallan More than 1 year ago
Couldn't have said it better. I know there wasn't the competition like the Tour but its certainly an awesome effort by Cadel
n085329 More than 1 year ago
Gee, hasn't the quality of Cyclingnews increased since comments started?? Clearly the intelligentsia is inhabiting these pages. Cadel just finished on the podium of the Giro and yet you're calling him washed up, broken down & not the present of BMC?? Tejay might like to start acting as a team player before he starts to act as a team leader. Review the footage of the 'nails' incident in the tour de france last year. Cadel calls to Tejay for help, he clearly looks back and fresh airs him.
kodornah More than 1 year ago
Yeah... that's was freaking embarrassing...
dsotherby More than 1 year ago
Oh boy, just a tad bit angry aren't we... breath deeply and find your happy place.
Ken Bellone More than 1 year ago
True, in the past 26 years, only Indurain won the Giro and then the Tour. That says a great deal about how difficult it is to win the Giro, recover, then win the Tour.
Jay Tee More than 1 year ago
You forgot Pantani in '98.
pinocchio More than 1 year ago
The guy just got 3rd at the Giro. There are some very naive comments here. TJVG has a great future but if you think he is going to be dueling Michael Rogers and Philip Deignan for a Tour podium.............. I would put TJ in the Robert Gesink category at this point.
blemcooper More than 1 year ago
In another thread, I posted a comparison of van Garderen's and Gesink's respective palmares. They are eerily similar, though I think Tejay seems to be a bit tougher than Gesink.
rainwatrs More than 1 year ago
Yup Rogers was just holding back for 2nd in Cali so he could really show TJVG at the tour.
timcowell89 More than 1 year ago
Oldest podium finished since 1928? Yep Evans must be really washed up, and if it wasnt for a technical in the last part of that climb he might have still held onto 2nd. Cadel's training is to peak for the TdF, not the Giro. So come TdF time, with a better line up to support him, I think he is more than capable of finishing on the podium. Besides, Sky team will implode.
Bender6amer More than 1 year ago
TJ will get his day. Patience young padawan. Evans has earned the right to have one final crack at the Tour. TJ should be there to help him achieve that, but should Evans feel he doesn't have the legs, you can be assured TJ will be given free reign. Just like Wiggins and Uran in this year's Giro (although Sky really stuffed up sending both Uran and Henao back for Wiggins...Uran could have had been in a much stronger position to contest for 2nd....although they wouldn't have let him go for that solo win)
philjthommo More than 1 year ago
Totally agree with this comment on both points. Evan's has earned his place as outright leader through constant top ten performances in the Tour. Also the fact that Uran was in a great position mainly through great riding but also people forget that the main contenders let him have 1 min up the road before they started to make a chase.
delbified More than 1 year ago
Tejay finished 11 minutes down on Wiggo in last year's Tour and beat 35 yr-old Haimar Zubeldia into 5th. He won the Tour of Cali this year against a b or c-list of GC riders. Some of you guys are getting carried away here. Cadel is a Tour winner and just podiumed in the Giro, having turned up only looking for a training ride. Tejay also finished 5 mins. down on Nibali at the 2012 Tour, and Nibbles is clearly much stronger this year. He's on a journey to be team leader, but he's not there yet.