Evans feeling good in Tour de France, Gilbert and van Garderen escape serious injury
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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Evans feeling good in Tour de France, Gilbert and van Garderen escape serious injury

by VeloNation Press at 7:43 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Pandemonium of stage one doesn’t cause any time losses

Cadel EvansAlthough he hasn’t raced since finishing third in the Giro d’Italia, Cadel Evans has said that he had good sensations on yesterday’s opening leg of the Tour de France and felt sharp in the peloton.

“Race speed is always difficult to train for, but I'm really happy with physically how it started off,” he said. He was also encouraged by how his BMC Racing Team performed, particularly with the team time trial coming up in three day’s time. “The guys are all riding really well, which is also important.”

Evans won the 2011 Tour but was off form in the race last year, suffering en route to Paris and finishing back in seventh place. Although he also appeared short of condition at times this season, he went to the Giro d’Italia and performed well there, finishing third overall.

He believes that riding that race will give him the base he needs to challenge for a second Tour title this year, and is encouraged by how he feels thus far.

Team-mates Philippe Gilbert and Tejay van Garderen had more complicated days yesterday, with both of them hitting the deck in the big crash which happened inside the final ten kilometres. Gilbert was clear that the confusion caused by the decision to move the finish – provoked by the fact that the Orica GreenEdge bus was jammed under the finish gantry – and then to move it back to the original location added to the usual complications before a sprint.

“You can imagine if you hear ten minutes before we should finish that the finish line is moved to the third-to-the-last kilometer – that this creates a kind of chaos and then it becomes unsafe,” the world road race champion stated. “Unfortunately I was one of those guys who crashed. I was riding around 25th position and they crashed in front of me. Of course this was a pity, certainly because van Garderen was riding on my wheel.”

The latter is the team’s second general classification rider and he said that he was relieved not to be badly hurt. “We were doing our best to stay out of trouble but you just can't avoid everything,” he stated. “All things considered, I think I came away really lucky. All my joints are working, no bones are broken; I have a couple of scabs, but that's about it.”

Fortunately all of the riders were given the same time as the stage winner Marcel Kittel, meaning that none of the general classification contenders lost out.

Like Gilbert and van Garderen, BMC Racing Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue was relieved that the repercussions of the crash were not serious. “We know these races are always nervous, the first stages of the Tour de France,” he said. “It will be like this every year and surely on the sprint stages.”

The BMC Racing Team riders will have a better chance to assess their form today, with the lumpy parcours giving Evans, van Garderen and Gilbert an opportunity to ride aggressively if they see the chance. They will also be able to assess their rivals’ condition on the ramps toward the end of the stage.


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