By Brecht Decaluwé
Hendrik Redant is going to be in the team car behind Cadel Evans when the Australian rides the 30 kilometre-long time trial in Cholet today. The Belgian directeur sportif has been in the news lately regarding a possible move to Tinkoff, but he pointed out that he hasn't signed anywhere and is focusing on the Tour de France.
Cyclingnews asked Redant about the time trial and the chances of Cadel Evans one day ahead of the stage. "It's the first test. I don't think there will be minutes lost there. If I look at the course it looks good. There will be some headwind and [some] tailwind. We will do a good reconnaissance, also in the morning. Cadel has to go full out a first time, that's logical. We'll see how it goes," Redant said.
Spanish champion Alejandro Valverde had a fantastic start in this Tour de France and he now holds a psychological advantage over the other general classification contenders. "If Valverde does the time trial he rode in the Dauphiné, then he'll win because he was super there. During the first couple of days he has left a tremendous mark," the Belgian said.
His own rider Evans hasn't been in big problems up until now and Redant sounds confident when he talks about Evans. "Sometimes he's sitting at the back, which I think is risky. But he's moving up to the front just like that so he's in top form. I expect him to be up there. If he makes the same progression as he had in the Dauphiné, then he'll battle along for the time trial victory. Together with the first mountains stage towards Super-Besse two days later this is the first important appointment," Redant realised how important the time trial would be for the chances of Cadel Evans in this Tour de France.