Evans confirms strong form by moving to second overall in Giro d’Italia
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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Evans confirms strong form by moving to second overall in Giro d’Italia

by Shane Stokes at 10:03 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Good time trial result shows Australian is in form

Cadel EvansShowing arguably his best Grand Tour form since winning the 2011 Tour de France, Cadel Evans jumped to second overall in the Giro d’Italia Saturday and proved that he should be a contender for the prestigious event.

Evans was fully psyched for the 54.8 kilometre time trial, taking risks in the technical opening section and almost clipping a wall as a result. The Australian leaned to the left and kept his shoulder clear, staying upright, but the moment showed how determined he was to ride strongly.

That commitment paid off at the end of the test, with Evans finishing 39 seconds adrift of the stage winner Alex Dowsett (Movistar) and, more importantly than that seventh place, ending the day second overall. He is just 29 seconds adrift of Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), and could take over the race lead if the Italian falters.

Commenting afterwards, Evans said that the test was long identified as one of the most important stages in the race, and that the route had been checked out as a result. “We have been looking at it for a long while and preparing for it because it was really a time trial that tested every aspect of time trialing,” he explained. “It was flat, fast, and technical, on fast open roads with technical descents, steep climbs and rolling climbs. So really every variation of terrain possible. It required something special in terms of an approach and equipment.”

While he was third fastest at the 26 kilometre time check, he slipped back to ninth quickest at the second such point, 51.5 kilometres after the start. He was then able to recover slightly on the long drag to the finish, improving two places as a result.

Evans believes that the conditions changed that that this may have cost him. “The weather wasn't favourable for us with the winds,” he said. “I think the earlier riders might have had a slight advantage with the wind conditions. But we did everything we could. The important thing was the classification and it was a very good day for us.”

Evans showed strong form early on this year with third overall in his first race of the season, the Tour of Oman. He then finished further back in 22nd place in Tirreno-Adriatico and a distant 51st in Critérium International.

Those performances concerned him and prompted Evans and his BMC Racing Team to add the Giro d’Italia to his race programme. At one point the race was seen by some as a mechanism for him to reach strong form rather than a goal in itself, but it is now clear that he has the condition to think of fighting for the final Maglia Rosa.

The team’s assistant director Fabio Baldato is pleased with what he saw. “We are satisfied,” he said. “We thought Cadel was good, but today we found out it was true. He is in really good shape and everything is pointing toward the podium.

“Twenty-nine seconds in a hard Giro like this is not too much. But we need to be focused and concentrate. Every day – every corner – can be dangerous. It can be the moment you can have a big split or a big advantage.”

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