While International Cycling Union (UCI) World Road Champion Cadel Evans has been cautious on his Giro d’Italia hopes before seeing the full course, BMC Racing Team president Jim Ochowicz believes the Australian is a general classification contender. Ochowicz’s comments follow this week’s announcement the Professional Continental team would contest May’s Giro, the team’s first Grand Tour.
“With Cadel, we have one of the contenders for the Giro within our own ranks, so that’s going to be fun to move through the race and see how it develops over the three weeks,” Ochowicz said.
Evans took some time to scout some of the race’s stages earlier this week, including the 178 kilometre stage from Bormio to Passa del Tonale. The conditions, however, were somewhat different to those he’ll encounter come May, with three centimetres of snow on one of the descents making matters tricky.
“I’m looking forward to the interesting stages, such as the Strade Bianche, Plan de Corones and Zoncolan,” Evans said. “Whether they suit me or not, I don’t know. We’ll find out when we get there.”
While looking forward to the team’s first Grand Tour, BMC Racing Team’s sport director John Lelangue was under no illusions about the challenge that lay ahead. Lelangue revealed the team had already completed reconnaissance of four stages before having its selection confirmed this week.
“It’s going to be a very difficult race,” Lelangue said. “All the big champions have been there and all the big champions have won it. So going to the Giro with the world champion with the objective to be competitive and try to do our best to be on the podium with Cadel and have a strong team with him is a big satisfaction for the team.
“It’s one of our main objectives of the season,” he added. “Without even being selected, we have done a lot of reconnaissance of some stages, including the team time trial, the Strade Bianche and two of the other mountain stages.”
The Giro d’Italia runs from May 8 – 30 this year, with the first three stages being held in Amsterdam.