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Cadel Evans: Being defending champion makes things easier

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Cadel Evans (BMC)

Cadel Evans (BMC)
(Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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Cadel Evans (BMC)

Cadel Evans (BMC)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The defending champion Cadel Evans rolls to the stage in Liege

The defending champion Cadel Evans rolls to the stage in Liege
(Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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2011 Tour de France champion Cadel Evans (BMC) signs an autograph after a pre-Tour training ride in Liege.

2011 Tour de France champion Cadel Evans (BMC) signs an autograph after a pre-Tour training ride in Liege.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Cadel Evans congratulates Brad Wiggins on his Critérium du Dauphiné win

Cadel Evans congratulates Brad Wiggins on his Critérium du Dauphiné win
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Looking relaxed and sounding confident as he made his final appearance in front of the press prior to the start of the Tour de France, Cadel Evans said that being the defending champion will benefit his cause over the next three weeks. "Being defending champion does make it a little bit easier. You don't have the question of doubt about whether you can win the Tour or not. We know that we can do it," said the BMC team leader.

"I feel ready and I think that everyone here feels ready and that's particularly important… I'm very pleased with the guys we have. We had a very good team last year and I think that this year we'll be even stronger in the mountains thanks especially to Tejay [Van Garderen]. We have a good group of guys who can perform at the highest level, but who are also relaxed and ready and motivated."

"Their results speak for themselves. They've been the best team in the week-long stage races and Brad's been the best rider. They've really lifted their level and compliments to them for their performance in the Dauphiné over the Joux Plane where they had four of the nine riders in the group in front going into Morzine, which is something we haven't seen for a long time in cycling. I've never gone head to head with Wiggins in a three-week tour and I'm guessing we'll be in for a good battle."