Cadel Evans cautious in Romandie prologue

A late rainfall hampered defending Tour de Romandie champion Cadel Evans's performance in the opening prologue in Lausanne today. The BMC rider was the last off in the 3.34km test, but he fell far short of the time of winner Geraint Thomas (Team Sky), who posted a 3:29.43. Evans was 19 seconds down, good only for 80th place.

While the earlier starters including Thomas enjoyed dry roads, rain began to fall in the final 40 minutes of the prologue, impacting last year's stage winner Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar) and overall contenders such as Bradley Wiggins (Sky). But via Twitter, Evans seemed to think he had been a bit too cautions in the slick conditions.  "'Don't take any risks' they all said...'Did I make the time cut?'(!)," he wrote.

With his recent illness, Evans later said he wasn't expecting to be in the hunt for a prime performance today.

"I don't think with my condition I wouldn't have been close to the specialists today, so the rain slowed me down even more," Evans said in a team press release. "But it wasn't my course or my distance. I hope the weather turns a bit better because I've been sick and so on."

The Australian's Tour de France preparations have been impacted by a recent sinus infection which forced him to drop out the Amstel Gold race and pull out of La Flèche Wallonne, a race which he won in 2010, and Liège - Bastogne - Liège. Even so, he still has aspirations for the Tour de Romandie.

"I hope to get some racing in my legs and with a couple days racing, I think I can get a bit better. Then we can see what we can do a little bit later in the week."

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