Cadel Evans: “Maintaining position would probably be the first objective”
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cadel Evans: “Maintaining position would probably be the first objective”

by Ben Atkins at 2:02 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Australian holds onto second overall but is disappointed to lose bonus seconds to Nibali

cadel evansCadel Evans (BMC Racing) ended today’s first mountain stage of the Giro d’Italia, between Cordenons and Altopiano del Montasio, with his second place overall intact. The Australian former World champion was one of a select group of riders to finish just 31 seconds behind stage winner Rigoberto Urán (Team Sky) but, despite being one of the strongest riders on the steep final climb, missed out on the sprint for third place.

That position went to Maglia Rosa Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and, with the eight seconds bonus on the line - along with another four taken at a Traguardo Volante sprint around five kilometres earlier - increased his 29 second lead over Evans to 41.

“I’m happy to have passed the first real mountain day and hold my place in the classification,” said the 2011 Tour de France winner. “I conceded a little bit of time to Nibali of course, a little bit. It's probably not going to be a big deal at the end, but I would rather not concede time, but to maintain my position at this point is still very good.”

Evans’ inclusion in the BMC Racing Team’s Giro squad was a late one, but the Australian’s performance so far has justified the decision. As well as being second in the general classification, some good placings at stage finishes from the canny Australian also has the lead in the Maglia Rossa points classification.

“I worked really hard to be here,” he said. “Like I’ve been saying, it wasn’t something I’ve had planned since the start of the year. I had five or six weeks and I did everything as best I could, to be here as good as I could, and so far, so good.

“We still have a lot of mountain stages to go; it’s the first real mountain stage,’ he added. “Maintaining position would probably be the first objective, and then we’ll see where we can go from there.”

With ten stages done many of the overall favourites have dropped out of contention for the final victory, with the race shaping up to be a two-man struggle between Nibali and Evans. Urán’s stage victory has pitched the Colombian into the top three, however, and, with several more mountain stages to come, Evans is taking nothing for granted.

"I don't know what was going on behind, of course,” he said, “but Nibali is the rider I have to focus on at this point considering my place in the classification, and every day that passes it’s looking more that way.

“But really I don't know that we are even halfway into this Giro yet,” he added. “So it’s still maybe a little early to say.”

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