Critérium International: Evans, van Garderen join forces for only time prior to Tour de France
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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Critérium International: Evans, van Garderen join forces for only time prior to Tour de France

by VeloNation Press at 11:19 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Critérium International
 
Defending champion Evans and young BMC Racing team-mate chase overall victory in Corsica

Tejay van GarderenLast year’s race winner Cadel Evans has said that he is looking forward to competing alongside BMC Racing team-mate Tejay van Garderen this weekend in what will be their only race together prior to the start of the Tour de France.

Both riders are part of the American team’s lineup for the Critérium International, which Evans won last year, and between them will try to clock up another overall victory in the race.

The duo finished fifth and seventh overall in last year’s Tour de France, prompting speculation that they will be given joint leadership status in July. Evans has however said in recent months that he believes he should be the sole leader heading into the race, with van Garderen to head the team in 2014.

Some have pondered if a rivalry will crop up between the two, but there is little sign of that.

Evans welcomes the chance for each of them to ride the Critérium International. “It's really important for both of us,” the Australian said. “It is important to race with everyone whom you ride with at the Tour before the Tour. I look forward to racing with him and getting to know him a bit better in our steps toward a good performance at the Tour.”

Van Garderen has ridden well this year, netting second overall in the Tour de San Luis and then fourth in Paris-Nice. He is looking forward to testing himself in Critérium International, and particularly the time trial. “It's short, so maybe not perfectly suited for me,” he stated. “I haven't seen if it's technical or has climbing but I will get a chance to recon it a few days before we do it.”

The duo will be backed by American rider Brent Bookwalter, plus Dominik Nerz, Mathias Frank, Sebastian Lander and Amaël Moinard.

According to the team’s assistant director Yvon Ledanois, the final stage to the summit of the Col de l’Ospedale could cap things off perfectly for the team. “I think with Tejay and Cadel and a strong team around them, we have a good opportunity to get another win.”

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