Evans ‘very satisfied’ with strong showing in Tour of Oman
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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Evans ‘very satisfied’ with strong showing in Tour of Oman

by Shane Stokes at 11:24 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Oman
 
Good day sees BMC Racing Team rider jump up to second overall while turning 36

Cadel EvanCadel Evans got a welcome birthday present today when, in his first stage race in five months, he had clear reassurance that he appears to be back on track after a difficult 2012 season.

The BMC Racing Team rider played down his chances somewhat before the crucial stage to the top of Green Mountain but went on to place third and jump to second overall in the standings, thus confirming that he is on track for what could be a return to top for this year.

Evans crossed the line 22 seconds behind the stage winner Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) and 18 behind Chris Froome (Sky), the Australian rider catching and dropping double Tour de France winner Alberto Contador (Team Saxo Tinkoff) inside the final kilometre.

He had expressed a little doubt beforehand about how he would square up, but confirmed afterwards that he was very pleased.

"I've come here with an open mind, knowing I've trained well in the offseason and leading into this,” the 36 year old stated. "But it is my first race. I don’t know how I am going compared to everyone else, I came in with an open mind. This is my first real little test of the year. It’s still a test. I’d say it's good. Most of all I’m satisfied.”

Evans ends the day second overall, 24 seconds behind the new race leader Froome. Two stages remain in the race, the 144 kilometre leg from Al Alam Palace to the Ministry of Housing in Boshar and the identically-distanced sixth stage from Hawit Nagam Park to Matrah Corniche.

Froome is likely to come on attack from all of his rivals. Evans has strong backing from his BMC Racing Team and the American squad will look to seize whatever opportunities come its way. His directeur sportif John Lelangue pinpoints tomorrow’s stage as realistically the final change for big change, with three climbs providing a platform for attacks on Sky.

“If there are some breakaways going and we can place one of our guys who is not too far away on the general classification, he can be a threat for the leaders and they will have to work,” he explained.

However, whether or not Evans can go on to win overall, he’s already seen enough to know that he is in very solid shape heading into a crucial season.

“For the fitness I have, I think it is a good result. I couldn’t have asked more from myself. I'm very satisfied,” he said.

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