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The race marked the BMC Racing Team debut of Samuel Sánchez (left), posing here with Cadel Evans. (Photo by Andrea Agostini, BMC Racing Team.)
The race marked the BMC Racing Team debut of Samuel Sánchez (left), posing here with Cadel Evans. (Photo by Andrea Agostini, BMC Racing Team.)

Tour du Haut Var, Stage 1: Evans Eighth

22. February 2014

Cadel Evans was the BMC Racing Team's top finisher, in eighth, on Saturday's opening stage of the two-day Tour du Haut Var.

The Stage:
Traveling 151 kilometers from Le Cannet-des-Maures to La Croix Valmer, the peloton faced three categorized climbs, with two intermediate sprints also up for grabs.

The Day's Breakaway:
Five riders – Florian Guillou (Bretagne-Seche Environnement), Gert Joeaar (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits), Joseph Perrett (Team Raleigh), Thomas Rostollan (Team La Pomme Marseille 13) and Rodolfo Torres (Team Colombia) – built a four-minute lead before the peloton reeled them in just after the final climb, with about 25 km to go.

Late Attacks:
Thomas Vaubourzeix (Team La Pomme Marseille 13) launched the first attack inside the final 25 km. After he was brought back, three more riders tried an escape: Rémy Di Gregorio (Team La Pomme Marseille 13), Brice Feillu (Bretagne-Seche Environnement) and Quentin Jauregui (Roubaix Lille Metropole). With 5 km to go, they had 30 seconds. But the chasing peloton made the catch in the final kilometer.

The Podium:
Carlos Betancur (Ag2r La Mondiale) beat John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) and his own teammate, Samuel Dumoulin to take the victory.

Best For The BMC Racing Team:
Evans was one of six riders credited with a time three seconds slower than the first three finishers. Thirty riders finished within 12 seconds of Betancur. In his debut for the BMC Racing Team, Samuel Sánchez finished 100th, 1:30 back.

What Cadel Evans Said:
"In the final we looked to see if Thor (Hushovd) could do the finish and repeat his success of last year. I tried to be alongside him into the last few hundred meters. But it seems he didn't have the finish and it was Ag2r that anticipated the finish. I think they did a good move because they saw there were a lot of tired riders in the group."

What Sport Director Yvon Ledanois Said:
"We have trust in the riders for tomorrow. It is more for the GC (general classification). We did not have a bad result today. Tomorrow, it is 4,300 meters (of climbing), so with Cadel and Samuel Sánchez and Amael Moinard, Manuel Quinziato, Larry Warbasse and Brent Bookwalter, I have trust in the riders for a good result."

Injury Report:
Bookwalter crashed with a kilometer to go and suffered scrapes and bruises to his right hand, knee, elbow and hip. He did finish the stage and is expected to start on Sunday.

Listen to complete comments from Evans and Ledanois on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.

Watch videos from the race on the BMC Racing Team YouTube channel.

See action and behind-the-scenes photos in our Flickr gallery.