Matthew Lloyd ready to be Evans' Alpine asset

Matthew Lloyd (Silence-Lotto)

Matthew Lloyd (Silence-Lotto) (Image credit: Mark Gunter)

After breaking his sacrum in Amstel Gold race in the spring, mountain climber Matthew Lloyd wasn’t guaranteed a ride in this year’s Tour. However the Australian recovered, and on the cusp of he Alpine stages is one of Cadel Evans’ right hand men.

"It’s been really good Tour so far for me but I’ve not done anything yet. In the Pyrenees I was there to help Cadel [Evans] and that was my main job. As far as transition stages involving breakaways go I wasn’t really called upon to work too much," said Lloyd. "I’m not like the flat stage breakaway artists with a load of panache, like some of the French who are here for publicity. It’s more of an intelligent move on my behalf to wait for the mountains where it will be better for me. The last few days have been an exercise in resource management if you know what I mean."

Lloyd was the Australian national champion in 2008 and has been with Silence-Lotto since 2007. In that time he’s forged a strong relationship with his leader, Evans, who currently sits 17th overall, 3:07 down on race leader Rinaldo Nocentini.

"There are so many things that can change in cycling, especially for a yellow jersey contender like Cadel. There can be time gaps that you haven’t anticipated and ones that can’t be avoided," Lloyd said, alluding to the team time trial. "But Cadel is still motivated and we’re all keen to get him as high up the as possible."

Lloyd also said that the next few days in the Tour will define the battle for the overall after only a mild sorting out in the Pyrenees. "Today and the next few days are going to be battlegrounds. The Alps is where the course gets even more violent," Lloyd told Cyclingnews.

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