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Cadel Evans (leading) was part of a key move on one of the longest gravel sections. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)
Cadel Evans (leading) was part of a key move on one of the longest gravel sections. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)

Evans Seventh At Strade Bianche

8. March 2014

Cadel Evans finished seventh Saturday at Strade Bianche, the first in a pair of one-day weekend races in Italy for the BMC Racing Team.

The Course:
Traveling 200 kilometers from San Gimignano to Siena, the course was made unique by its inclusion of 10 sectors of gravel roads spanning 45.1 kms.

The Day's Breakaway:
Four riders – Andrea Fedi (Neri Fluo), Marco Frapporti (Androni Giocattoli), Davide Frattini (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team) and Angelo Pagani (Bardiani-CSF) – escaped the peloton after about 30 kilometers and built a nearly 11-minute lead. But the last of them, Pagani, was caught with about 45 km remaining.

The Major Move:
Evans emerged from the longest – and most difficult section of gravel – in a group of 11 riders, which eventually swelled to fewer than two dozen, with 29 km to go. Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) attacked and Evans took up the chase. But when the chasers reeled in Trentin, Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling) took off with 21 km left and only Trentin's teammate, Michal Kwiatkowski, could follow.

The Winning Moment:
Sagan and Kwiatkowski, the Polish national road champion, rapidly built a 30-second lead after three kilometers in front and extended it to 1:19 when they exited the last gravel sector. But Sagan could not follow Kwiatkowski's attack on the steepest part of the narrow climb in the last kilometer. Kwiatkowski won by 19 seconds over Sagan, with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) finishing third at 36 seconds. Evans crossed the line 1:44 back of the winner.

What Evans Said:
"Today was a little bit better. I was happy to be in front nicely because I am working toward Tirreno-Adriatico. It's not winning, but it's a good indication. When Sagan attacked, there was little I could do to respond. Toward the end, there was another group that went away, and I couldn't follow that either (with Valverde). But I went away with the next group after that and we were fighting for the last places in the first 10."

What Sport Director Valerio Piva Said:
"Like every year the last 50 km is important and there, the race goes to pieces. We decided to have two leaders: Cadel and Samuel Sánchez. The team was around our two leaders. At the beginning of the Monte Sante Marie, Cadel was in the front, but Samuel was not. So the race was in pieces after that. A team like Omega Pharma-Quick Step had five riders, and some other teams had three or four. Cadel was alone. Of course, it's difficult in a race like this. When you are alone, you need to make one movement. He did, and went with three other guys, and was able to finish seventh. I'm happy with his condition. I think we're ready for Tirreno-Adriatico."

View photos from the race on the BMC Racing Team's Flickr gallery.

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