Cadel Evans to kick off 2013 season at Tour of Oman
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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Cadel Evans to kick off 2013 season at Tour of Oman

by Ben Atkins at 8:22 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Oman
Australian and Philippe Gilbert to join most of BMC Racing’s victorious Qatar team

cadel evansThe Tour of Oman, which starts on Monday, February 11th, will see former World champion and Tour de France winner Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) start his 2013 racing season. The Australian will line up alongside current rainbow jersey Philippe Gilbert - who kicked off his own season in January’s Santos Tour Down Under - and the majority of the riders that carried home the team classification in the Tour of Qatar last week.

“I'm looking forward to getting back to racing with my teammates and pinning a number on,” said Evans. “I chose Oman to start for its favourable weather and I had heard a lot of good things about it. So to start the race in good weather is something I'm looking forward to and to give me an indication of how my pre-season preparation has been.”

With more variety in the terrain, the Tour of Oman is more of a varied race than Qatar, where powerful teams rely on the desert winds to help the break up the race. Although the hillier stages in Oman will suit Evans well, he will be under no pressure to take a result in what will be his first race since last August’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

While there will certainly be opportunities for the Australian, “it's the first race of the year for Cadel, though, so there's not pressure on him at all," explained directeur sportif John Lelangue. “We will take things day-by-day but our options are pretty high to have a good week of racing.”

While Gilbert has started his season, he followed the high temperature Australian race with a return to the European winter and is looking forward to the warmer climes of the Middle East.

“It's been cold in Monaco, which hasn't been ideal for training,’ said the World champion, “but we'll see what I can do in Oman.”

With Evans and Gilbert will be Americans Brent Bookwalter and Taylor Phinney, who stood alongside race winner Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) on the Qatar podium; with Bookwalter also winning the first stage in a rare breakaway for the race. The team will be completed by four of the other six from the Qatar team - in Steve Cummings, Yannick Eijssen, Michael Schär and Greg Van Avermaet - with only British sprinter Adam Blythe and 22-year-old American Laurence Warbasse stepping aside.

BMC Racing Team for the Tour of Oman
Brent Bookwalter, Steve Cummings, Yannick Eijssen, Cadel Evans, Philippe Gilbert, Taylor Phinney, Michael Schär, Greg Van Avermaet.


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