Anderson believes that Evans needs to prove he deserves BMC Racing Team leadership over van Garderen
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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Anderson believes that Evans needs to prove he deserves BMC Racing Team leadership over van Garderen

by VeloNation Press at 12:08 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
‘The team couldn't risk everything on Cadel the way he is now’

Phil AndersonFormer top Australian professional Phil Anderson has said that BMC Racing Team rider Cadel Evans will need to pull out a big performance in order to convince management that he rather than Tejay van Garderen should lead the squad in the Tour de France.

Anderson, who was speaking prior to today’s news that Evans will ride both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour, accepted that van Garderen has shown better form than his team-mate this year.

“Cadel certainly has to prove himself before the Tour. He can't go into the Tour the way he is now and expect van Garderen to ride for him,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald. “He has to come up with the form because the team couldn't risk everything on Cadel the way he is now. He may be racing by numbers [based on pre-determined measures of power output] … If not, it's easy to have a string of bad races and say, 'It's training, there's always next week.'”

Evans was third in the Tour of Oman, his first race of the season, but then was quieter in his subsequent three events. He was 28th in the Strade Bianche, 22nd overall in Tirreno Adriatico, and only 51st in Critérium International, a race he won last year.

In contrast, van Garderen has been closer to winning. He was second in his first race of the year, the Tour de San Luis, then was fourth overall in Paris-Nice and third in the Critérium International. He was also ahead of Evans in last year’s Tour, fifth compared to seventh.

While the Australian has pointed out that he had a virus last season and was below par as a result, Evans’ insistence that because he won the Tour before, that he can do so again does not mean he will be in the necessary shape by July.

He’s now 36 years of age and if he were to win the race once more, he would be the oldest winner ever. Those statistics prove that he is racing against the clock and that the task facing him is not an easy one.

Anderson doesn’t rule out the possibility that he pull off victory in July and thus make history, but he argues that Evans needs to prove prior to the Tour that he has the necessary form to lead the squad.

The issue, he believes, is gaining the confidence of his teammates, who he points out “are going to see him and his condition now. Hopefully it's temporary. He started off well, but now you see Contador has won a couple of races and the others [have too].

“You'd have to be nervous that guys you have to beat are already winning races. I would be.”

Evans confirmed today that he will do the Giro d’Italia for the first time since 2010. “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.”

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