Cadel Evans climbs into second place overall at Tirreno-Adriatico
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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cadel Evans climbs into second place overall at Tirreno-Adriatico

by Jered Gruber at 7:39 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tirreno-Adriatico
2009 World Champion in an ideal position to vie for overall honors over final three days

Cadel Evans launched into second place overall at Tirreno-Adriatico following an excellent third place finish in Stage 4 behind an unbeatable short, steep, uphill finishing duo of Michele Scarponi and Damiano Cunego from Lampre-ISD.

The Australian currently sits only ten seconds behind Rabobank's Robert Gesink, a paltry handful of seconds considering Tuesday's 9.3 kilometer time trial finale to the Race of the Two Seas.

Afterwards, Evans was more than content with the day's effort.

"I've been training since November without any problems and all the numbers in training looked good," said the 2009 World Champion on the BMC Team website. "But it's what you can do on the results board that counts for me in the end. Today, I rode more as a GC rider than for the stage win. It's a good position to be in, and we have two more tough days leading into the final time trial."

If Evans can continue to climb as he did in today's stage over the next two mountainous days, he'll head into Tuesday's time trial as the odds on favorite for overall victory. There will certainly be a number of riders in with a chance, but considering Evans's obvious impressive baseline form and his time trialing pedigree, he'll be tough to beat.

Writing later in the evening on his personal website, Evans described the day - a long, mountainous run to Chieti, just a few kilometers from the Adriatic coast.

"Getting into the real racing now, 240 kilometers with 2960 meters elevation gain. Fortunately, on this course, a relatively tranquillo start to the day in good weather. As has been the theme here, easier start to solid finals. To add to today's difficulties, a testing kilometer of up to 18% leading into the last k."

Third on the day behind only the famed explosive climbers Scarponi and Cunego was nothing to sneeze at, but it seems it could have been better had Evans been a bit more aggressive on the day's final descent leading into the finishing climb to Chieti. Evans had to come from a ways back, and when he got to the head of affairs, he found himself with only Damiano Cunego on his wheel, chasing Cunego's teammate.

"Descending a little conservatively, I was not ideally positioned leading into it, meaning I had to make up a bit of lost ground on the climb. Not that it was such a problem, I got across to and passed Cunego, but of course, he is not going to help me pursue his teammate Scarponi further out in front. Compliments to Lampre on a good race, not much we could have done against them."

Considering that Evans only made his 2011 debut at the Giro del Friuli two weeks ago, there's no denying that the Australian has enjoyed a fruitful, solid winter - the first steps toward his main goal of the Tour de France have gone very well indeed.

"For me, I'm happy with how it's going. A couple more tough days of racing yet."


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