BMC Racing Team announces Evans’ team-mates for Tour title defence
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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

BMC Racing Team announces Evans’ team-mates for Tour title defence

by VeloNation Press at 12:44 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Hincapie, Gilbert and Cummings part of squad

Cadel EvansWith the days counting down until he begins the defence of his Tour de France title, Cadel Evans’ lieutenants for the race have been confirmed by the BMC Racing Team. As previously stated, George Hincapie will be part of the lineup, riding what will be his second-last professional event prior to retirement. The seven remaining riders have been announced and, in addition to Hincapie, will include four others who backed Evans last year.

The returning riders are Marcus Burghardt, Amaël Moinard, Manuel Quinziato and Michael Schär. The three remaining riders who will compete in the race with the BMC Racing Team for the first time are 2011 WorldTour rankings leader Philippe Gilbert, young American talent Tejay Van Garderen and the Briton Steve Cummings.

Evans has been in quieter form this year than last, although he did win Critérium International earlier this spring. He was third in the recent Critérium du Dauphiné, one place further back than in 2011, and also grabbed a stage. The Australian insists that he’s strong enough to pull off a second victory, providing all goes to plan.

"I know now that I can win it and my lead-up this year is nearly identical to what we did last year," he said. "We're bringing an even stronger team to the Tour this year and the route would seem to favour me. The time trials will change the dynamics of the race and some of the tactics of my rivals. But like last year, I'll go to the Tour with my own plan, to ride my own race."

Evans is battling against time in trying to take a second title. Last year he became the oldest winner since the second world war, taking the final Maillot Jaune at 34. If he wins again, he’ll be second only to Firmin Lambot in that list; the Belgian triumphed in 1922 at 36 years of age.

Gilbert took stage one last year and briefly wore the yellow jersey. He is yet to notch up a victory this season, but might be given the opportunity to chase a Tour stage during the three weeks. However directeur sportif John Lelangue makes it clear that backing Evans is the absolutely priority.

“We have one objective: to defend Cadel's title and bring him to the podium in Paris," he said. "Everyone will know clearly what their job is during the three weeks of racing. Our roster has a really good balance, especially considering the parcours."

BMC Racing Team President and General Manager Jim Ochowicz said that a lot of thought went into selecting the best possible squad, and that getting things tactically perfect was a big priority.

"We're looking forward to a challenging race, but one that we're prepared to take on. What we got out of last year's Tour was that we did a lot of things right and not too many things wrong,” he said. “We'd like to repeat that this time around."


BMC Racing Team for Tour de France:

Marcus Burghardt (GER), Steve Cummings (GBR), Cadel Evans (AUS), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), George Hincapie (USA), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Michael Schär (SUI), Tejay van Garderen (USA).

Reserves:
Brent Bookwalter (USA), Steve Morabito (SUI).

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