Cadel Evans: Being defending champion makes things easier

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."

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).