Well-prepared Evans moves up in Giro d'Italia ranking
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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Well-prepared Evans moves up in Giro d'Italia ranking

by Bjorn Haake at 2:41 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
The world champion comes through again

Cadel EvansReigning World Champion Cadel Evans was very well prepared for today's Giro d'Italia stage, which he won ahead of Damiano Cunego and Alexander Vinokourov. While Vinokourov took over the race lead, Evans went from 16th to second, passing Ivan Basso and previous maglia rosa Vincenzo Nibali in the process.

One minute and twelve seconds separate Evans from the race lead. "I think second is a good position to be in right now," Evans said after the stage. "We'll see tomorrow how the first true mountain stage goes. There's a long way to go before Verona."

Evans was initially the only one who could follow Vinokourov's attack, although later Cunego, Marco Pinotti and David Arroyo managed to catch up. The key part of the race were two gravel sections known as strade bianche (white roads), well known from the Monte Paschi Eroica race held in March.

The biggest problem today was that the roads weren't white, but a muddy brown. The rain converted the race into a mudfest, with the World Champion's white outfit becoming a shade of grey. But as a former world-class mountain biker, Evans knew how to handle the conditions and he was very well prepared for today's route. "It's a stage that suited me and we prepared well for it. The course reconnaissance we did paid off."

Cadel EvansEvans still had to fight through the cold rain and adverse conditions, something that his directeur sportif, John Lelangue, hadn't seen in 20 years in the sport. "Winning the day wasn't really the plan this morning, but there was a time bonus, so that helped," Lelangue said. "I'm really proud of all the guys and the staff, who worked hard to prepare everything for today."

The plan included using a special set-up for the dirt road section. "We changed Cadel's BMC at 120 km, as planned, to make sure we had good Easton wheels and we had people stationed on the dirt roads with another spare BMC and wheels."


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