Evans prepares for big week one

The Australian world champion’s BMC team are confident of their ability to keep Evans out of trouble this time in a particularly-dangerous opening to the three-week race.

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Evans will again be among the overall favourites when the Tour starts early on Sunday morning (AEST) with a prologue time trial in the Dutch city of Rotterdam.

Last year, his race took a massive hit when he was part of a Silence Lotto line-up that lost two minutes and 36 seconds in the stage-three team time trial.

Evans never recovered from the setback and eventually finished 30th, easily the worst result of his five Tours.

He switched from Silence Lotto to BMC at the end of last year, even though his new team is not at ProTour level.

One of the main reasons Evans chose BMC is their team dynamics.

Evans has enjoyed a strong season while wearing the rainbow jersey as the reigning world champion and he has constantly praised his new team-mates.

But one of the main queries about Evans has been the strength of his team and week one will be a major test for BMC.

For overall contenders such as Evans, week one will be all about staying out of trouble ahead of the big climbs in the Alps – and that will not be easy.

A day after the prologue, the 223.5km first stage from Rotterdam to Brussels will have plenty of traffic hazards and there is also potential for strong winds along the route.

Then comes stage three, 213km from Wanze to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, which features several cobblestone sections that are used in the brutal Paris-Roubaix classic.

“But we’re confident that we have a strong team around Cadel,” said BMC director John Lelangue.

“We have experienced guys on the cobblestones – especially Alessandro Ballan, Marcus Burghardt and George Hincapie.

“We know Cadel has the ability to find his way on the cobbles, especially having been a mountain biker.”

Lelangue added BMC made a special reconnaissance of the stage three route in April.

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