Evans believes he’s much fresher than when he did last Giro d’Italia in 2010
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Friday, June 28, 2013

Evans believes he’s much fresher than when he did last Giro d’Italia in 2010

by Shane Stokes at 9:57 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Australian anticipates ‘some interesting action’ in opening Tour stages

Cadel EvansPlaying down any concerns that he might be below par in the Tour as a result of riding the Giro d’Italia, Cadel Evans has said that he feels competing in that event was necessary to hit peak form for the Tour, and that he should be fully recovered by now.

In recent years it has appeared difficult for riders to bounce back from the Italian race in time for the Tour. Evans doesn’t believe it will be an issue.

“It is not the conventional plan to follow, not what I set out to do at the start of the year,” he told journalists today. “But days’ racing I lost because of the illness – I raced with a virus all last year and obviously my performances weren’t anywhere near what I expected. It wasn’t until after the Olympics than I found out what the problem was and why I wasn’t feeling at my best.”

As a result he had to have enforced rest in order to allow his body to recover, and because of this his condition dropped. “I had two months with no exercise, no bike or anything. That set me back a lot and that is where I needed something extra on top of the normal preparation to get ready for the Tour,” he explained. “The Giro fitted in really for that. I always had the desire to return to the Giro but having focussed on the Tour for the past nine years, it hasn’t happened so often.”

The Australian finished third overall in Italy, riding well throughout the race. Indeed he might have taken second, but had serious issues with his gearing at a crucial point. Evans was fifth in the race three years ago, but then placed 26th in the Tour de France after a crash.

He said that he believes his condition is much better on this occasion. “This time round, compared to 2010 when we were in a particular situation, I come to the start of the Tour feeling a lot fresher,” he said.

When Evans won the Tour in 2011, his BMC Racing Team rode well in the team time trial by finishing second to Garmin-Cervélo. That enabled them to gain time over many of the other squads and helped his chances overall.

Asked how the same test this year would impact on the race, he played down the significance somewhat.

“It is a little bit earlier in the race. It is going to be important. I don’t think it is going to make the difference between winning and losing the Tour, although certainly things can always go wrong. But that can happen at any time in the race,” he said.

“We have a good team for that, we are focussed on that. We have worked to do well in the team time trial, of course.”

However his suggestion is that time gaps could come even earlier than the team time trial on stage four. “I think here in Corsica we are going to already see a bit of interesting action,” he said, referring to the lumpy parcours and the chance for splits. “Then with a flatter, faster shorter time trial…I don’t know if we will see such big gaps.”

Inevitably, given the headlines Lance Armstrong’s interview with the Le Monde newspaper have generated, Evans was asked about his feelings about the American today. He said that he doesn’t give him a lot of thought.

“I sometimes read him in the press but beyond that, not really. I follow what he says and I respect him as a human being, a member of society that he is, but really I focus on my own things, I focus on doing our job as best we can,” he said. “Fortunately we are supported by a great group of people and a great team to do our job as we see fit - and within the rules, of course.”


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