Evans frustrated by blocking tactics, loses more time
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Friday, May 21, 2010

Evans frustrated by blocking tactics, loses more time

by Ben Atkins at 8:11 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Fined after clash with Righi

World champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) and Daniele Righi have both been fined 2000 Swiss Francs for their spat in the front of the peloton during the closing kilometres of yesterday’s stage, according to la Gazzetta dello Sport.  Evans had been left behind by an attack from a ten-man group, containing most of his overall rivals, and was working at the front to pull them back.  Righi on the other hand, whose team leader Damiano Cunego was in the ten-man group, was trying to disrupt the chase.

“My fault for not being there [in the breakaway group],” said Evans of the incident on his website.  “I didn't position myself very well. I was relying on Sky and Garmin to chase a bit more. Hence me getting frustrated with those who were purposely slowing down the chase, not the done thing in professional cycling. I let it be known to them, much to everyone's entertainment – sorry about that - not bad for a boring rider who never attacks, hey?”

Evans had already exchanged words with a rider from Katusha, who was blocking the chase on behalf of eventual stage winner Filippo Pozzato, before his altercation with Righi.  Both riders could clearly be seen waving their arms near each other’s faces, although it did appear to be short of actually throwing punches.  Both riders escaped sporting sanction but will be required to pay the fine.

The riders publicly reconciled before today’s stage start in Porto Recanati, shaking hands for the press.  “At certain moments we lack a bit of lucidity,” said the World champion, “the important thing is to have the intelligence to learn from our mistakes.”

Righi was equally contrite, saying: “Seen on TV the gesture was really bad, we apologise for what happened. And ‘everything is clear'.”

The ten-man group managed to stay away to the finish where Pozzato took Italy’s first stage win of the race.  With none of the overall contenders finishing inside the top three, and therefore missing out on the bonus seconds on offer, Evans only lost 10 seconds to his main rivals.

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