2011 Tour de France champion Cadel Evans (BMC) lost more than four minutes to stage 8 winner Chris Froome
view thumbnail gallery
Age not a problem, says performance manager
Allan Peiper, the performance manager of BMC Racing, believes that Cadel Evans can win the Giro d’Italia in 2014.
Evans finished third in this year's edition of the race, behind eventual winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Rigoberto Uran (Team Sky). Despite a disappointing showing in the Tour de France in July in which he finished in 39th place, Peiper believes that the former Tour winner can return in 2014 and win the second grand tour of his career.
"Cadel believes in himself. Even now at 36. I know the way he rode in the Giro, with less than perfect preparation, and how he raced at the end of the season. He still has a lot of energy in the tank and I firmly believe that he can go to the Giro and win it," Peiper told Cyclingnews.
"The way he rides a bike race, the way he can prepare and live for it, I think the Giro is definitely an obtainable goal for Cadel Evans in 2014."
Evans will be 37 by the time the Giro d'Italia starts in Belfast next May, but Peiper added that the experienced Australian rider can still compete at the top of the sport. With BMC sending Tejay van Garderen to the Tour de France, Evans will be the sole leader for the team in Italy.
"Let's not even talk about age because he's already beaten that issue already and he’s done that consistently over the last five years. Whether it's his last year or not you can be sure that when the Giro comes around he's going to be on fire. I believe that 100 per cent."
Evans was present at the route presentation for the 2014 Giro d'Italia in October and praised the route.
"The race route is slightly more balanced [than in the past]. I don't know if it's more humane because if they put in less mountain stages, we just ride faster and go flat out. It doesn't get any easier. It suits a rider who is consistent but that's case for most Grand Tours. There are a lot of stages for the climbers but there's also the 47km time trial, where a pure climber will struggle not to lose time," he told the press at the time.
Evans is set to start his 2014 campaign with the Tour Down Under in January.