Critérium du Dauphiné: Evans attacks to nab second on stage and moves to third overall
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Saturday, June 09, 2012

Critérium du Dauphiné: Evans attacks to nab second on stage and moves to third overall

by VeloNation Press at 11:38 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Critérium du Dauphiné
 
Can Australian clock up a fifth runner-up slot in the general classification?

Cadel EvansFour times second overall in the Critérium du Dauphiné, Cadel Evans is nudging closer to a fifth such result after he attacked strongly towards the end of today’s stage and gained time on the other contenders.

The Australian surged clear going over the top of the Col de Joux Plane and while race leader Bradley Wiggins’ team reeled him in, he clipped away on the descent approximately six kilometres from the line and stayed clear.

He finished sixteen seconds behind Nairo Quintana Rojas (Movistar Team), leaving it too late to chase the stage win, but took eight seconds out of the other general classification riders including Wiggins.

Given that he started the day one minute 44 seconds back in fourth overall, he had hoped to gain more time. Still, under the circumstances he was satisfied enough with how things worked out.

“The tempo made by Team Sky climb after climb showed they’re a very strong team. Being alone in Joux-Plane made it difficult for me to attack,” he accepted. “It was quite windy as well. Tejay Van Garderen is improving every day and we get to know each other better. I’m looking forward to racing the Tour de France with him.”

Tony Martin, who started the day third overall, was shelled on the final climb and lost over four minutes. That ensured Evans would end the day third, but his surge at the end brought him close to second.

“I attacked on the descent but I didn’t take any risks. I didn’t know exactly how close I was from a possible stage win but I heard that Tony Martin had been dropped and I wanted to maintain my position on the podium,” he said. “I didn’t have a lot to lose.

“I didn’t do that for the green jersey. Tony Gallopin was pretty keen for this but now that I have it, I’ll go home with something, maybe.”

The latter reaction makes it seem almost certain that he considers the overall now to be beyond him. He’s one minute 36 seconds behind Wiggins and with tomorrow’s uphill finish only being a third category ascent, it will be very difficult to get a sizeable gap over the Briton.

What is more attainable is to try to chase another runner-up slot in the general classification. He’s just sixteen seconds off Wiggins’ team-mate Michael Rogers, so if the latter can be isolated or shows any signs of difficulties, then Evans will do everything he can to leapfrog him.

Many cyclists are superstitious and having finished second last year prior to winning the Tour de France, Evans may well want to repeat the pattern.

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