Defending champion Evans plays down 80th place finish in prologue of Tour de Romandie
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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Defending champion Evans plays down 80th place finish in prologue of Tour de Romandie

by VeloNation Press at 3:24 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Romandie
 
Australian admitted before race it’d be tough to win again

Cadel EvansDefending champion Cadel Evans has had an up and down season thus far, but is hoping for far more ups than downs in the Tour de Romandie. The Australian won the race last year and yesterday began the defence of his title with modest 80th place in what was a short, sharp and slippery race against the clock.

“A 3.4km prologue to get things rolling, mostly downhill with only one turn to be concerned about. Sounds simple, [but] a lot of wind and a bit of rain for the last wave of riders made it a bit more complicated, though,” he stated on his site afterwards. “Sky had a good start by not only winning [Geraint Thomas was quickest – ed.] but having Cavendish and Mick Rogers up there as well. Wiggins looked to be the best of the guys who rode in the rain.

“For me, I didn't have any expectations coming in, but could have risked a bit more to somewhere closer to the first page of results. Not to worry, five more days of racing to come yet...”

Last year Evans went into the 2011 race having won Tirreno Adriatico and picked up another success in Romandie. He then went on to take his first Tour de France.

This year has been more complicated thus far. He wasn’t in form in Tirreno, bounced back to win Criterium International, then pulled out of the Amstel Gold Race and didn’t ride Liège-Bastogne-Liège due to a sinus infection.

Because of that, Evans acknowledged prior to the race that it would be tough for him to take a repeat victory in this year’s Tour de Romandie.

"For sure it will be difficult to make the same result as last year, considering how I've felt in the last days," he said then. "With my infection, I won't be at the same level of competitiveness. But I hope to be there for the hardest stages. I will take it day-by-day.

“We will see how I feel in the first two stages, and then I will have a better idea of where my condition is."

The team’s other designated leader for the event, Tejay Van Garderen, was 41st in the prologue. He is 14 seconds off Thomas’ GC time, with Evans a further five seconds back.

The race continues today with a 184.5 kilometre race from Morges to La Chaux-de-Fonds.

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