Evans and Rodriguez react to disappointing time trials, hope for better showings in mountains
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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Evans and Rodriguez react to disappointing time trials, hope for better showings in mountains

by VeloNation Press at 7:52 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
“I hope to be in my best shape during the last week, in order to try something in the Alps”

Cadel EvansCadel Evans said prior to yesterday’s time trial that the test would be ‘a really good indicator for the rest of the race,’ and may not have been wild about the answer it gave. The Australian rider dug deep but only finished 21st in the race against the clock, dropping two and a half minutes to the winner Tony Martin (Omega Pharma Quick Step), two minutes 18 to race leader Chris Froome (Sky) and also giving away time to several other GC contenders.

For the 2011 Tour de France winner, it effectively spelt the end of any thoughts of a push for a second yellow jersey in Paris, leaving him six minutes 54 seconds behind Froome and well out of the picture.

“My time wasn't bad, but it wasn't anything particularly special,” Evans said after the test. “Looking toward Paris and the end of the race, it would have been ideal to take back more time on some of the rivals ahead of me, but I didn't have it in the legs today to do better.”

Evans started the test in sixteenth place overall and did improve two places to fourteenth, but he is still a long way off where he wanted to be. He rode the Giro d’Italia, finishing third, and may be showing the fatigue of that. He’ll continue pushing on, trying to rally in the third week.

“From here, I hope to improve myself for the next set of mountains and the next time trial and keep moving ahead on the GC,” he said.

While BMC Racing Team president Jim Ochowicz concedes that a second Tour victory seems out of the picture now, he is remaining optimistic that Evans can keep moving up the GC. “With this race, anything is possible,” he insisted. “This is like the halfway point. We're getting into the second phase. There are so many more mountains ahead in the last week of this race that maybe people haven't taken into consideration yet in their mathematical equations. We think that the race is far from over.

“Certainly for us, it's a lot more difficult to think about winning in Paris. But I wouldn't say Froome is the definite winner yet.”

Meanwhile Katusha team leader Joaquim Rodriguez also had a tough time trial, the small climber finishing back in 56th place and losing and additional three minutes 17 seconds to Froome. The Catalan, who was second in last year’s Giro d’Italia and third in the Vuelta a España, now sits eleventh overall, nearly six minutes behind.

“Obviously races against the clock are not suitable to my characteristics, even if I had good feelings today. I expected a slower ITT when I made the reconnaissance in April: instead today, thanks also to the tailwind, we all kept a faster than expected pace. I think I was fast too, if we consider I've almost kept a 50 km/h average speed,” he said.

Like Evans, Rodriguez is clinging to the hope that the third week will see major changes in the GC. “It's obvious at this moment that Froome is stronger than anyone else: he's great both in the mountains and in races against the clock,” he said. “But the competition is still very long and hard for everybody, as I've already said before. I hope to be in my best shape during the last week, in order to try something in the Alps.”

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