Losing time in the team time trial when many expected them to rival the top-contender's from Sky, Astana and Garmin Sharp may not have been the best way for Cadel Evans to begin his Giro d'Italia campaign but just 24-hours later the plucky Australian sort to reduce his deficit to the likes of Bradley Wiggins et al by finishing in second-place on Stage 3 to Marina di Ascea.
A 12-second time bonus will mean little when the GC battle heats up on tough 12km climb to Croce Ferrata at the end of today's stage but the BMC Racing Team has already shown they mean business at this year's Giro. Having studied every corner of the technical descent on Stage 3, it's expected that Evans and his team will be more adequately prepared again when the tour rolls out for its second-longest stage.
"We knew every corner of the final descent and spent 30 minutes studying it in the pre-race meeting, so it was perfect," said BMC assistant director Fabio Baldato on the team site. "The guys did a great job, particularly Ivan, Steve Morabito and Danilo Wyss, who had a bit of a bad day yesterday."
Known for his descending skills, Evans comfortably placed himself amongst the 18-rider selection before Luca Paolini (Katusha) clipped away for the stage win. A small bonification may not put Evans in group of absolute favourites for the overall title but it has at least gone some way to boosting the morale of the 2011 Tour de France winner and his teammates who will support him to climb as high up the GC ladder as possible.
"A small time bonus may not make a difference at the end of the Giro but it doesn't hurt for sure," said Evans. "Most of all, it's a little bit of encouragement for everyone on the team.
"I was just looking to avoid trouble like the problems Michele Scarponi had after the two Blanco riders crashed in front of him,” added Evans after the Lampre-Merida rider crashed on the decent when following the Blanco duo."
Kruijswijk and Gesink lost control on one of the bends but kept it upright while Scarponi was not so lucky after skidding out of control, crashing and breaking his derailleur before waiting for a spare bike.
"Like everything that counts for the race, we prepare for it as best as we can," said the Australian.
Before returning to the Giro after a two-year gap Evans spoke to Cyclingnews about his decision to race the Italian grand tour and the Tour de France in the same season. With his form showing brief signs of progress after a virus wiped out his 2012 Tour campaign, his exact goals for the Giro remain unclear. What is know is that the team have done their pre-Giro homework. The rest will be up to him.
"I'm a competitive rider; I have a competitive instinct and I want to do well at the Giro. I do what I can to be as good as I can but also I just have to be realistic."
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