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The most aggressive rider of Stage 5: BMC’s Cadel Evans. (Photo Tim De Waele)
The most aggressive rider of Stage 5: BMC’s Cadel Evans. (Photo Tim De Waele)

After having been virtual leader on the road, Cadel Evans grabs 4th place in thrilling stage

23. gennaio 2010

Willunga

Coming into the 2010 Tour Down Under, everyone could point to the stage 5 finale up Old Willunga Hill as the probable deciding point for the overall race.  Though Cadel Evans came into the race with modest ambitions, the BMC Racing Team as a unit certainly intended to shake up the event as effectively as they could. 

Pushing the pace up the first ascent of Old Willunga Hill, BMC helped launch team leader Evans his own attack the second time up the climb.  His blistering effort nearly cracked the race open, but out-numbered 2 to 1 by a strong Caisse d’Epargne team, Evans had to be satisfied with 4th place and an impressive display of early season form.

Show respect for the organizer, fans and competitors
Having been invited to the first ProTour race of the season, the UCI  ProContinental BMC Racing Team  felt their first duty would be to show their respect to the race and its organizers by proving that they can be consistently competitive at this high level.  “Coming to this race, we certainly want to show our regard for the organizers, fans and indeed the World Champion’s jersey by putting on a really good show,” Head Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said.  With the team working in complete unison, everyone threw all of their weight behind the World Champion’s chances to take the lead in his home tour. 

Putting all their cards on the table
Though Evans has from the beginning of the race played down his chances at an overall victory, he was not about to let the opportunity pass without giving it a very good shot. “I’m feeling well, the team is working extremely well together as a unit, and so we tried to make the most of the opportunity that the Willunga climb offered,” Evans explained.  “We knew Caisse d’Epargne would be the biggest rivals for the victory on the day, and since there were two of them up front with me, and a hard charging peloton behind, I ended up in kind of an uncomfortable sandwich.  Things didn’t work out exactly as we would have liked, but these are early days still.  We can certainly say we have achieved what we came here to achieve at this race.” 

Revving up Oz
Enjoying the sight of the first Australian World Champion tear up the roads in his home tour, many Australians were beside themselves with excitement during the final kilometers of Stage 5.  “So many people from the race organizers to Australian fans have come up to tell me how happy they are that we are racing so aggressively,” Lelangue revealed.  “We are proud to honor the World Champion jersey with our attacking racing style and I am particularly pleased to see all the team, from our young guns like Kohler, Wyss, Frei and Santambrogio to our experienced veterans like Hincapie and Kroon pull together and work like one unit supporting our team leader, Evans.”  Though the final stage will almost certainly come down to a field sprint, BMC is not throwing in the towel just yet.  “Tomorrow will end in a sprint, and though we won’t have Cadel trying to out-sprint Greipel, we certainly have a plan for the day and goals for a high finish both for the stage and in the GC,” Lelangue assured.