Cadel evans do or die for tour de france this july

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Libertine Seguros said:
The other problem is that this parcours is hugely backloaded. You can gain a minute or two in the first half, but lose an hour or two in the second.

Cadel looks to be in absolutely great shape - but can he hold that form for 3 weeks? Are others just looking to limit their losses for the first two in order to raise hell in the 3rd?

We simply do not know. It is premature to say that Evans is the man to beat because he's so far only shown that he's:
1) the best of those GC contenders that didn't crash on stage 1
2) the best of the GC contenders by the width of a front tyre on a climb that wasn't selective enough for Thor Hushovd or JJ Rojas to be dropped properly.

These 2 finishes have been absolutely Cadel Evans territory - the kind of thing he's always excelled at. Sometimes in the past his timing has been off (see Flèche Wallonne 2008) but he's always been one of the strongest in these races. Since the move to BMC I've really had to wonder why he kept doing Paris-Nice, since he's been 3rd and 1st in his 2 attempts at Tirreno-Adriatico, a race that absolutely to the core suits his style. I'm not ready to anoint him the favourite until he shows the same kind of form on something that really isn't Cadel Evans territory.
It's a dream start for Evans and to have such a lead on Contador. Much better than than being on the same time obviously. Even though there are plenty of great riders near Evans on GC, he would have to be more than happy to be in the his current position. The first week of the TDF this year is not as flat and I think some people have underestimated how hard the course is. The third week is very hard but I think the second week will also weed out some of the contenders. Evans looks less stressed than usual and has won one stage and the team has performed excellently. But as you said, the third week will show who has peaked too early and who is the strongest. Even if Contador is tired from the Giro I expect his mental toughness to still put him near the front in the third week. I could be wrong but it is Andy Schleck I have some doubts about this year. Whether he will be able to reproduce the climbing form he had in last year's TDF and limit his losses in the TT. Too early to tell yet and it's shaping up as a great race with Contador having to attack and make good time gains on his rivals.
 
Evans should be more than happy with the current situation on GC. But it's not nearly enough for him to win unless some other riders have absolute disaster races. He's made some good gains on the territory he is superior at - but he's going to need to climb as well as if not better than he's shown at any point in his career in order to hold on to those gains on the territory that the others are superior at.
 
Libertine Seguros said:
Evans should be more than happy with the current situation on GC. But it's not nearly enough for him to win unless some other riders have absolute disaster races. He's made some good gains on the territory he is superior at - but he's going to need to climb as well as if not better than he's shown at any point in his career in order to hold on to those gains on the territory that the others are superior at.
Yes, confidence and good teamwork will only take him so far. He will have to ride the race of his life or have the good fortune to ride against other riders who are not in their best form. I'm not convinced that Schleck and Contador will be at their best but they may not have to be to win the race, especially Contador. I always have doubts about the Schlecks because of the time trialling but last year it was a very tired Contador who struggled in the final TT. Schleck may not be able to depend on a repeat of that performance by Contador this year. I think Gesink and VDB and Basso are still in the race but will have to be very good in the mountains to have a chance. I can't see Kloden getting through the mountains as well as those three even though on best form he is a great TT rider.
 

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