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Cadel Evans (left) dueled with Alberto Contador on the climb of Bousher Alamrat. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)
Cadel Evans (left) dueled with Alberto Contador on the climb of Bousher Alamrat. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)

Tour of Oman, Stage 5: Evans Chases To Keep Podium Position

15. February 2013

BMC Racing Team's Cadel Evans held onto a podium position Friday at the Tour of Oman, but slipped from second to third overall when a flurry of attacks split the peloton late in the race.

Evans Part Of Chase Group
Alberto Contador (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) was the primary aggressor, attacking the final time up three ascents of the Bousher Alamrat climb to win a bonus time sprint. Only race leader Chris Froome (Sky Procycling) and Thursday's stage winner, Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha Team), could follow and the trio held off a seven-man chase group that included Evans. Froome won the stage in the three-up sprint while Evans finished eighth, four seconds behind. The past world road champion said he knew the 144 kilometer race had the potential to shake up the overall. "For Alberto to overtake me on the general classification, he had to work his team a lot," Evans said. "His team worked well, and, in the end, it succeeded for them. I consolidated my losses and tried to play it in the final. I expected the group to come back in the end, but they didn't come back." Evans is 39 seconds off the lead and 12 seconds behind second-placed Contador with a day to go.

Van Avermaet In The Breakaway
Before the fireworks late in the stage, it was BMC Racing Team's Greg Van Avermaet who helped protect Evans's place on the general classification by being part of a nine-man breakaway. His group gained more than three minutes' advantage before being caught by a significantly-reduced peloton. "It was a good day for me, especially being in the breakaway was a good training for the upcoming Belgian races," Van Avermaet said. "We did good work for Cadel and it was also good for myself. Only when Contador attacked was it too hard for me. We are riding for the team classification and that motivates me." Van Avermaet (33rd place) joined five of his teammates in the top 35 on the stage: Evans, Philippe Gilbert (14th), Yannick Eijssen (15th), Steve Cummings (30th) and Michael Schär (32nd). Already winners of the team classification at the Tour de San Luis and the Tour of Qatar, the BMC Racing Team leads AG2R La Mondiale by 18 seconds in that category.

Click here to listen to complete comments from Evans (English) and Van Avermaet (French) on the BMC Racing Audio Line.