Cadel Evans: “I feel good for the Tour de France, don’t worry about me!”
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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Cadel Evans: “I feel good for the Tour de France, don’t worry about me!”

by Ben Atkins at 5:25 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Tour of Romandie
 
Grand Boucle champion disappointed with Tour de Romandie performance but feels all’s well in preparation for July

cadel evansLast week’s Tour de Romandie was not a great race for BMC Racing’s Cadel Evans. The defending champion in the race could only manage 29th overall, 2’07” behind race winner Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky), but the Australian is refusing to panic ahead of his Tour de France defence in July.

“The Tour de Romandie was difficult, yes!” he exclaimed in an interview with cyclism’actu. “We had a very interesting race. The course was certainly difficult, but it was not selective. There were some complicated climbs but nothing that allowed you to make the difference. Each time, the peloton came back together by the end of the stage and we saw a small peloton sprint. In fact, we had many riders on the same time. It was difficult to make the difference.”

The Australian, whose 2011 victory - in the Tour, as well as in Romandie - was built on his strength against the clock, struggled in the 16.5km mountain time trial in Crans-Montana. Wiggins, who is likely to be one of Evans’ biggest rivals in July, won the stage, taking 1’45” out of the Australian.

“Ultimately the most difficult stage was the last, I think,” he said. “The time trial in the altitude of Crans-Montana was an opportunity to really express myself. I'm sorry, I had hoped for better performance. I gave everything I had but I didn’t have the power to do any better.”

As the defending champion at Romandie, Evans had come into the race in the hopes of taking a good result, particularly after his recent victory in the Critérium International. It was not to be, but the 35-year-old is still optimistic about his schedule for the Tour.

“I rode this race with bib number one on my back and it was a big motivator,” he explained. “I came here to win. I had a very competitive team around me but I wasn’t able to find the necessary strength to get a good result, especially in the final time trial, at least to get as good a result as I hoped for. It’s also true that the time trial course was difficult.

“But for me the main thing is that my form is still good and I felt on this Tour de Romandie that I was improving all the time,” he added. “It’s good for the future!”

Despite lacking the results of 2011 therefore, Evans is optimistic that his preparation for his big target for the year, the defence of his Tour crown, is right on track.

“I feel good, do not worry about me!” he laughed. “My shape is good even if it is not as good as last year. In terms of my scheduled preparation for the Tour de France, I don’t think there's any problems or have any concerns. I did not get a result on this Tour de Romandie but, on the other hand, we did a good job in preparation for the Tour de France; and that’s important.”

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