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Cadel Evans donned the Giro d'Italia leader's jersey for the second time in his career. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)
Cadel Evans donned the Giro d'Italia leader's jersey for the second time in his career. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)

BMC Racing Team's Evans Leads Giro d'Italia

17. May 2014

Cadel Evans of the BMC Racing Team took the lead of the Giro d'Italia Saturday with a fifth-place finish on the first mountain-top finish of the three-week race.

Solid Team Support
Evans received solid support from teammates throughout the 179-kilometer race, first in the chase of a 10-rider breakaway and later on the final two climbs, as all the escapees were eventually overtaken. Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) won the stage ahead of Robert Kiserlovski (Trek Factory Racing). Evans crossed the line eight seconds later and donned the maglia rosa after previous race leader Michael Matthews (ORICA-GreenEDGE) was left behind on the lower slopes of the third-to-last climb of the day. "We are in a good position at the moment," Evans said. "Today, we saw a hard stage with all the contenders right there. I think when we get to the mountains, we will see a different kind of race."

Morabito Played Key Role
With 13 stages to go, Evans holds a 57-second lead over Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-Quick Step). Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) is third, at 1:10, while BMC Racing Team's Steve Morabito is fourth, at 1:31. "Steve was really the man of the day for us," Evans said. "The team was going all day and he was there all the way to the finish." Morabito – part of the BMC Racing Team's Tour de France team when Evans won the race in 2011 – drove the pace for the past world road champion in the final kilometers. "I am in good shape right now, but I think we have a stronger team around Cadel now too," Morabito said. "I did not have to do work at the start, so that let me have more power for the finish. The team helped me, because they expect me to be in the front to help Cadel at the end and show what I have in my engine."

Last In Pink In 2010
Evans now leads a grand tour for the sixth time in his career and for the first time since winning the 2011 Tour de France. He previously wore the maglia rosa once – for one day in 2010 after Stage 2 – on the way to a fifth-place finish overall and the points classification title. This also marks the fourth time the BMC Racing Team has had a rider lead a grand tour. Taylor Phinney held the maglia rosa for three days in 2012 and, in 2010, Evans donned the maillot jaune at the Tour de France after Stage 8 but could not hold onto it after fracturing his left elbow in a crash. BMC Racing Team Sport Director Fabio Baldato said there is no increased pressure on the BMC Racing Team to defend the lead over the next two weeks. "For sure, we will do our race," he said. "We now know who will be the contenders, who will be the strong riders."

Listen to complete comments from Baldato, Evans and Morabito on the BMC Racing Team's special Giro d'Italia Audio Line.

See photos from the race in the BMC Racing Team Flickr gallery.