Cadel Evans's season debut at the Giro del Friuli does not go quite as planned
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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cadel Evans's season debut at the Giro del Friuli does not go quite as planned

by Jered Gruber at 3:21 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Early break goes the distance, but Evans will get another chance in a few days in Tuscany

Cadel Evans's debut into the 2011 season wasn't one of the Spanish, Australian, French, or Middle Eastern sun baths most of the riders have already grown accustomed to enjoying so far this year. Instead, the 2009 World Champion debuted at the Giro del Friuli in northeastern Italy, and the weather was anything but cooperative.

Evans succinctly described the conditions afterwards on his website.

"Cold, 3-4C with rain and sleet."

While the weather was bordering on heinous, Evans was content to have managed to wait until March 3rd before making his sleet/snow/rain laden season debut. It meant a peaceful period of training and staying more or less settled down.

"I am not going to complain about having a productive and long enough period to quietly prepare at home. Five weeks without having to go to the airport? Nice!"

For last year's winner of La Fleche Wallonne, the tough circuit of the Giro del Friuli would have seemed to be a course made for him, so his DNF, along with over eighty percent of the rest of the field stands as somewhat peculiar. 

Unfortunately for the Australian and most of the favorites back in the field, "a group of 31 went away after only 28 kilometers, nearly bringing an early finish to the race for most of us."

In the awful spring conditions, BMC took the front of the field to bring the gap down in hopes of putting a rider in the move. With the power of Evans at the head of the field along with his teammates, BMC were able to put Mauro Santambrogio into the right group that hopped from field to break. After that, Cadel's and the rest of the field's day was over.

"The final circuit saw some negative racing from most parts, with only Acqua-Sapone to chase on the flat, only four riders from the main peloton managed to re-enter. For us behind, once Santa's group went away, it was race over and off to the showers for us, along with 145 others."

Evans admits it wasn't how he dreamed the day would go, but it won't be long before he gets his chance to go a bit better. This weekend's Montepaschi Strade Bianche will be Evans's opportunity to return to the roads that gave him a brilliant stage win at last year's Giro. He'll certainly be a favorite and a rider to be watched.

"[Friuli wasn't] the way I prefer to start my season, but for my legs, a good introduction back to racing. Next up, Eroica - with some sunshine and the up and coming classics guys, I'm looking forward to a more productive test."

Indeed, the technical, hilly, white roads of Tuscany seem tailor made for a rider of the BMC captain's abilities.




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