Giro d’Italia: Cadel Evans starts as number 1
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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Giro d’Italia: Cadel Evans starts as number 1

by Ben Atkins at 11:53 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 

cadel evansTraditionally, the honour of race dossard number 1 is awarded to the previous year’s winner, but with Rabobank’s Denis Menchov electing to sit out this year’s Giro d’Italia this is not possible. The race organiser RCS Sport has decided to endow the honour on World champion Cadel Evans, whose BMC Racing team is competing in the race for the first time in its history.

Although the Australian has only ridden the race once before: in 2002 as an inexperienced 25-year-old. It was that sole occasion that alerted the World of the potential that the former mountainbiker had as a Grand Tour rider. He took the maglia rosa on the tough mountain stage to Corvara in Badia, but relinquished it the next day after a spectacular collapse on the long stage to Foglaria. He finished the race in Milano 3 days later in 14th place, 16’25” down on winner Paolo Savoldelli, but his performance was seen as that of a future race winner.

Since then Evans has concentrated on the Tour de France, finishing 8th in 2005, 4th in 2006, and then second in both 2007 and 2008. Last year’s race went badly though and he finished in a disappointing 30th place but he compensated for this with his victory in the World championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland. The Australian’s aggressive victory also answered a number of critics who often accused him of racing defensively and being reluctant to attack.

Evans announced at the end of last year that he intended to show off his new rainbow jersey in the biggest race in Italy, his adopted country for most of the year. He announced in December that he intended to race to win, but after his victory in la Flèche Wallonne last month he may elect to chase stage victories and save some of his strength for another shot at the Tour de France.

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