Cadel Evans (BMC) has withdrawn from Tirreno-Adriatico ahead of the final stage time trial at San Benedetto del Tronto. The Australian lay in 70th place overall after stage 6, over half an hour down on overall leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo).
Evans spoke briefly to Cyclingnews before quitting Tirreno-Adriatico, though without revealing what had caused him to perform so badly.
"It's obvious from the results that I'm not where I want to be," Evans said on Monday. "My performance at Tirreno is nowhere near where my intentions were but I have to continue working for my goals for the rest of the year.
Evans struggled in the mountains at Tirreno-Adriatico, losing 8:39 to Contador on the summit finish at Selvarotonda on Saturday and a further 16:41 the following day at Guardiagrele.
The Australian’s low-key showing was all the more surprising given that he had started his season with a stage win and a strong second place overall at the Tour Down Under in January. He followed that up with 5th place at the Tour du Haut-Var and a solid 7th at Strade Bianche last week, but he made no impression at Tirreno-Adriatico, a race he won in 2011.
"Obviously, my results are not anywhere near my expectations or intentions coming here," Evans said in an in-house interview released by BMC on Tuesday. "It is disappointing because we obviously worked a lot and I worked to continue the momentum that we started at the Tour Down Under. But obviously, the results tell a different story. So I will have to go home and reassess the situation and start again toward the next goals."
The centrepiece of Evans' 2014 season is the Giro d'Italia, where he finished 3rd overall last year in spite of similar travails at Tirreno-Adriatico. Asked if he saw that as something of an omen, Evans said: "I’d prefer to win Tirreno and win the following grand tour. Unfortunately things aren’t going well but that’s the way it goes. We have ups and downs. That’s life, isn’t it?"