Evans rues time bonus loss on stage one of Tour Down Under
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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Evans rues time bonus loss on stage one of Tour Down Under

by VeloNation Press at 1:14 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour Down Under
 
BMC Racing Team rider believes there could be the chance to gain time on stage two

Cadel EvansShowing an intention to fight for the final overall victory in the Santos Tour Down Under, Cadel Evans said that he was disappointed to lose time to stage winner and 2012 race victor Simon Gerrans earlier today.

Evans finished a solid ninth on stage one but the time bonuses Gerrans picked up saw him pull clear of the BMC Racing Team rider and his other rivals.

Gerrans was third in the second intermediate sprint, earning a second there, and got a ten second bonus for winning the stage. As a result Evans is eleven seconds down heading towards stage two.

“It's difficult to judge where we are, myself and my teammates,” he said shortly after the stage. “Of course everybody else is looking at the results today…Simon Gerrans is the guy to beat. I have found on a couple of occasions it's a bit hard to judge because it's the first race of the year and you don't know the level of everyone else.

“I was there in the final but I was disappointed. I would have liked to have been much closer to the bonus seconds in a finish like that. In that regard, it was not as good a start as I would have like to have had. But it's the first day of what is going to be a pretty intense week of racing.”

Evans has already shown his strong form by finishing second to Gerrans in last week’s Australian national road race championship. The 2011 Tour de France winner has worked hard to be in form earlier than usual this year, with May’s Giro d’Italia being both a motivator and also his main season target.

He said that rather than fitness, one of the big issues on stage one was being in the right place at the right time. “Some others are close but are still lacking a bit, which shows in some of the lead-outs today. We are all moving along, but found myself getting caught behind in a few crucial moments today, disappointing not to be in a better position coming into the final,” he said.

“I managed to stay out of trouble at least, unlike poor Dave Tanner who got caught in a dangerous spot today.”

The Belkin rider crashed during the stage and fractured his collarbone, ruling him out of the race.

Evans wants to try to move further up the general classification and sees opportunity on stage two. “A slightly more selective stage tomorrow will most likely see another small selection on GC,” he stated. “Hopefully a slightly more suitable stage for me too.”

The team’s directeur sportif Fabio Baldato sounded a little more upbeat than Evans after the racing ended. “I am really happy because all our guys were in the front, including the young Rick (Zabel). The team is in good shape. We knew it wasn't really our stage today. But the objective today was to not have a split and not lose time,” he said.

“We know Gerrans is fast and this was really a stage for him. Now he has some bonus advantage. But we will see how it goes tomorrow. It could be more of a race for Cadel.”

The Santos Tour Down Under continues tomorrow with a 150 kilometre leg from Prospect to Stirling.

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