Evans to do Giro d’Italia/Tour de France double in bid to return to best form
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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Evans to do Giro d’Italia/Tour de France double in bid to return to best form

by Shane Stokes at 8:11 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Australian BMC Racing Team rider believes back-to-back Grand Tours could help him hit higher peak

Cadel EvansReplicating the approach he took in 2010 in order to try to build back up after a tough 2012 season, Cadel Evans has taken the unexpected decision to line out in this year’s Giro d’Italia.

The Australian has confirmed the news today, saying that he was given the idea of riding the race earlier this month. “I could stick with my normal program that I do every year or try this different approach – which may be too much, but certainly enough,” he explained.

“I have always wanted to race again at the Giro, but after I raced it in 2010, I didn't get to the Tour fresh. I'm not saying that the Giro and the Tour together is too much. The illness and injury I had in 2010 made it impossible to judge.”

Evans was fifth in the 2010 Giro, and also won a stage in the rainbow jersey as world champion. He headed to the Tour hoping to fight for the victory but instead fractured his elbow in a crash on the eighth stage. Despite that, he took the yellow jersey at the end of that day, but lost it the following day and finished 26th in Paris.

Riding the two races together appears to be a gamble, taken perhaps in response to his disappointing performance in the Criterium International where he was only 51st overall. He was also a distant 22nd in Tirreno-Adriatico, with his form appearing to be dropping after his earlier third in the general classification of the Tour of Oman.

However while there is a risk of tiredness with the Giro/Tour double, Evans has fared very well with the Tour de France/Vuelta a España double in the past, riding well in the second of those races. In addition, the Giro is seen as less taxing than it was in 2010, and so this should help his recovery.

“The team will put everything into the Tour de France. My situation is a bit strange because there are not many riders who perform better with two Grand Tours than one in their legs,” he stated. “In my situation, with the racing I missed last year, I need and I feel comfortable with this program.”

Evans has insisted that he should be given Tour de France leadership, even though his young American team-mate Tejay van Garderen is riding more strongly than him at present and finished two places higher than him in last year’s Tour.

He argues that he’s won the Tour before and can do it again, and will be hoping that a strong performance in the Giro will show that he warrants leadership.

He has a clear aim for the Giro. “To get back to my best. Since the virus I had last year, I have had to change my approach to my work,” he stated. “It's difficult when you struggle to get to your best even though you are doing everything correctly. I am not coming to the Giro just for training. I don't know where I will be with my form, but for sure, I will give it everything.”

According to BMC Racing Team directeur sportif John Lelangue, he doesn’t have concerns that Evans may end up being fatigued in the Tour. “When he did both in 2010, he did good two performances and he has proven in the past he can do both the Tour and the Vuelta a España,” he stated. “So three weeks of racing in what is a nice Giro for him will be the best way to prepare well and be ready for the month of July.”

Evans will join a number of other top names in the Giro d’Italia, including defending Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins (Sky), 2012 Giro winner Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin Sharp) and Vincenzo Nibali (Cannondale). His presence will be a boost to the race and, according to BMC Racing Team assistant director Fabio Baldato, the squad itself.

“To have Cadel on board at the Giro will really be a big motivation and provide great morale for the whole team,” he said. “It's a great advantage to have him on the roster.”

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