Criterium International reflects French racing return for Evans
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Friday, March 23, 2012

Criterium International reflects French racing return for Evans

by VeloNation Press at 6:10 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Critérium International
Pinotti also a protected rider for BMC Racing Team

Cadel EvansEight months after winning the Tour de France, Cadel Evans will once again compete on French soil with a participation in this weekend’s Criterium International in Corsica.

The Australian had a quiet performance in the recent Tirreno-Adriatico. He won the race in 2011 but this time round, a combination of bad luck and average form saw him finish 32nd.

He’ll be hoping to have better showing in the two day, three stage race, which begins tomorrow with a mainly flat 89.5 kilometre road race. This is expected to finish in a bunch sprint, with the afternoon’s 6.5 kilometre time trial likely to have a bigger effect on the final general classification.

Ditto Sunday’s 179 kilometre road race, which finishes on top of the climb of the Col de l’Ospedale. If Evans is going well, stages two and three should set him up for a high overall finish.

"Coming back to France has another significance now, but I still have another Tour to do and Criterium International is another step towards that," he said, thinking back to last July and also forward to this year’s top goal.

"It's usually a short, intense stage race. Of course the individual time trial and the hilltop finish will be important for GC."

Evans won’t be the team’s only protected rider, with the multiple Italian time trial champion Marco Pinotti also keen to see how he can do. Pinotti had a bad leg break in last year’s Giro d’Italia but has worked hard and appears to be back on track.

BMC Racing Team Director Max Sciandri is looking forward to seeing how he can perform. “Marco is starting to really come around and he knows this race well," he said. "He's also going to test himself in the time trial."

The team will be completed by the American Brent Bookwalter, Belgian Yannick Eijssen, Frenchman Amaël Moinard, Danily Wyss of Switzerland and Evans’ compatriot Tim Roe.

Last year’s race was won by the Leopard Trek rider Frank Schleck. He will return at the helm of the now-renamed RadioShack Nissan squad, wearing dossard number one as defending champion.

Criterium International:

Stage 1, Saturday: Porto Vecchio to Porto Vecchio, 89.5 kilometres
Stage 2, Saturday: Porto Vecchio time trial, 6.5 kilometres
Stage 3, Sunday: Porto Vecchio to Col de l’Ospedale, 179 kilometres


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