Cadel Evans Wins Tour de Romandie 2011

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05/1/2011| 0 comments
by Reuters and

Cadel Evans Wins Tour de Romandie 2011

Team BMC Racing's Cadel Evans won his second Tour de Romandie earlier today and hailed the victory in his adopted country as a boost for his main goal of the season, the Tour de France 2011.

Team BMC Racing's Cadel Evans won his second Tour de Romandie earlier today and hailed the victory in his adopted country as a boost for his main goal of the season, the Tour de France 2011.

"Any stage victory on the World Tour is hard, so certainly this is a big win," Evans told and added "It's a bit strange to have won the overall and not to have won a stage. But I got a bit unlucky at the finish in Romont, and in the time trial when the wind conditions were a bit unfavorable to the later starters. But certainly, in a couple days when I have time to look back, I'll be very, very satisfied with the season so far."

"It's almost a home win for me. Switzerland is the place I picked when I decided to move to the northern hemisphere as a mountain biker in 1998 and I've lived here for the last 12 years," the Australian 2009 road world champion added after the final 165 kilometer stage.

Evans, who won his first major tour in Romandie five years ago, repeated the feat ahead of two other Tour de France contenders, up-and-coming German Tony Martin of Team HTC-HighRoad and veteran Kazakh Alexandre Vinokourov of Team Astana. Vinokourov is riding his final season.

Thanks to his fine effort in the penultimate stage time trial at the Signal de Bougy park, the Australian finished 18 seconds ahead of Paris-Nice winner Martin in the overall rankings and another second ahead of former Vuelta a Espana champion Vinokourov.

"Romandie was the first ProTour level race I won and we also rode past the village of Lugnorre in which I settled in 1998 as well as the Neuchatel headquarters of the company I signed with when I came to Europe," Evans, who became world champion two years ago in the Swiss town of Mendrisio, commented.

Evans was sidelined for a month this season by a knee injury in March, after winning the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race, and said he was surprised to be back in form so early.

"It's a pleasant surprise but it shows what good work my BMC team staff did to bring me back to shape."

Twice a Tour de France runner-up, the 34-year-old all rounder has often been hampered by the lack of a strong team to support him, but he said the current BMC line-up was probably the strongest he had known.

"We already had a strong team last year but unfortunately I broke my arm (in the Tour de France)," Evans said.

"I definitely believe we have an even better team this year and races like this are ideal to get to know each other ahead of the Tour de France. I hope my victories in Tirreno and here will give my team mates that little bit of extra motivation for the rest of the season."

The 2011 Tour de France takes place from July 2 and concludes in Paris on the 24th.

Evans was seldom attacked in Sunday's final stage to Geneva, despite the presence of two first-category climbs on the course.

After several unsuccessful breaks, the bunch reached Geneva fully packed and the mass sprint was won by up-and-coming British sprinter Ben Swift of Team Sky, already winner of two stages in the Tour Down Under early this season.

Swift, 23, beat three-times world champion Oscar Freire (Team Rabobank) on the line after a great team effort by his Sky team mates.

"It's a great honour to beat Oscar, he is the kind of rider I would like to develop into," Swift stated after being celebrated on the podium.

"The team was fantastic. Everybody was there in the closing (kilometers of the stage). We went round that last corner and I think there were still four or five guys on the front. It was going so fast and was a brilliant effort from everyone," Swift told and our mobile sister site

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