Cadel Evans is the "Mark Martin" of cycling!

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hulkgogan said:
His team last year was awful, and ain't much better this year. I don't know what his contract situation was last year, but he should have told Lotto to go fux themselves for what they gave him and not resigning Horner. Could you imagine any other big GT rider not getting their favoured lieutenant and standing for it?
well allegedly he did in charlie.. ?

theyre twittering each other like blazes.. :)
 
Apr 1, 2009
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Lay off the guy!
I'm not in love with him either, but twice a close 2nd at TdF is an achievement.
Plus the guy never had the support in the mountains his rivals had.
I don't think he'll get it this year. Probably this time will have a better domestique for the mountains in Van Den Broeck.
 
James Jordan said:
Having met the guy he was actually quite nice and cheerful. Personally i think the pressure, and lack of team support, really ran him down last year. I know when I am tired I am not at my best so I am giving him the benefit of the doubt.
All types of riders were/are under come Tour time. At the start of the Tour, Evans and Valverde were being heralded as the heavy favorites for the overall. Valverde opened the race with an impressive win to heighten those expectations with Evans staying close. Valverde after eventually faltering was
accused of shooting himself in the foot by going for the opening stage win inspite of all the other contenders including Evans, Kirchen etc... having to respond to his efforts to avoid losing time. Eventually both Evans and Valverde were involved in crashes that surely effected their ability to perform at their best. The difference between these two riders is that Evans crumbled under the pressure media wise but was able to maintain his position in the standings until Alpe d'Huez and the final ITT. Valverde meanwhile maintained his cool in dealing with the media but lost focus on the road and fell in the standings. Both riders were criticized during and after the Tour for their shortcomings with Evans' inabilitity to seal the victory blamed on the weakness of his team and Valverde's on his lack of focus.

Let's keep in mind that Evans is an Australian riding for a Belgium sponsored team. Lotto has dual priorities over the course of the season. With Evans they have a chance at a good showing in the Tour with that being his singular focus as he states each year. He's taken the Armstrong strategy with every race leading up to the Tour as being simply preparation. Why would Lotto invest all its resources in supporting Evans when they have races like Flanders and P-R that are just as important to their sponsors and fans?

When he joined Lotto he hadn't had the level of success that would dictate a team being built around him and likely realized that at the time unless he was delusional about his performances at that point. With Lotto being a Belgium sponsored team the liklihood of that ever happening for him is pretty slim.

With me the complaints about the lack of support year after year being the cause for his failure to live up to expectation gets tiresome. His competitors faced the same opposition that he did and you rarely heard Menchov, Valverde, Sanchez, and the rest speaking ill of their team as a means for explaining why they lost. It appeared to me the victory was there for the taking for Evans and he lost it with his mediocre ITT and his decision to stick with the gc leader at the time Frank Schleck on D'Huez, instead of realizing that Sastre was the only real threat that Savo Bank/CSC had at the time for the overall. Had he "minimized his losses" by pursuing Sastre earlier in his own diesel engine paced way he could have still won the Tour. If anything his ds errored by not suggesting this simply by weighing the liklihood that Frank Schleck would have ridden such a strong ITT that he would've been able to keep the yellow jersey which was highly unlikely based on his past performance history in ITT's.

In his defense his 2 Tour 2nd places are quite laudable and his climbing talents are vastly underrated. His sprinting ability is 2nd only to Valverde and Cunego and the equal of Samuel Sanchez and of course his ITT is as good as any of his grand tour competitors. While he says every event before the Tour is secondary, we would have to question that based on his efforts last year in Fleche Wallone where he attacked on the Mur de Huy with Kirchen overcoming him for the win. One would think that was a win that he gave his all for. That was an admirable effort.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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I gotta agree with the comment that he races for the entire year!! That is something that not many do, and he is pretty consistent from Feb until Sept. I am not a huge fan, but will give him props. Looking at the hard mountain stage in the Tour of the Basque last week when Contador was away...I was shocked to see Evans actually attack and chase. I thought he looked really good...maybe this year? Naah...but he is still a very high quality rider. Still the only Silence rider with a win this year right?
 
ingsve said:
So would you rate Carlos Sastre above Cadel because Sastre finally got his win? I wouldn't.

(disregarding any foul play).

I definitely would. Sastre had been in or around the podium of the Tour and the Vuelta for the past 4-5 years. His victory last year was a testament to his tactical savy, experience and dedication to never giving up on his dream of winning the Tour. He realized early on that the Tour would be won on Alpe d'Huez if he stayed within striking distance in the gc. He snatched his victory in the most dramatic of ways possible both on Alpe d'Huez and then finalizing it with his performance in the ITT. Dude seized the moment!
 
hulkgogan said:
His team last year was awful, and ain't much better this year. I don't know what his contract situation was last year, but he should have told Lotto to go fux themselves for what they gave him and not resigning Horner. Could you imagine any other big GT rider not getting their favoured lieutenant and standing for it?
Maybe Horner's asking price was too high. Maybe Evan's salary put a crunch on their ability to meet Horner's price and satisfy the Belgium sponsors who want results in classics that are a cornerstone to the Belgium fans. Who knew Popavich would've faltered the way he did? Based on his history most of us would have thought that he would've been a comparable lieutenant to Evans in the mountains with his past performances in the Giro and for Discovery.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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I am always surprised by people's criticism of Cadel's inability to attack in the mountains. His riding style is more like the Ullrich diesel engine than the explosive ability to change pace like Contador or Armstrong. That's just his style. Its not pretty or exciting to watch, and it probably will not win him too many mountain stages (or three-week stage races?) if he is racing against the likes of Contador or if a team like SaxoBank do a number on him like at last year's TdF, but it is pretty hard to change your style of riding after doing that for decades.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Let's not forget that there's a much stronger probability that Cadel is clean than some of his peers, which may go some way in explaining his lack of an extra gear.

It's also arguable that Cadel would have won the 07 tour if Bertie was not pulled up the mountain by the then still competing Chicken on 2 consecutive stages, remembering that Cadel took something like 90 seconds out of Contador in the ITT to only lose by 35 (?) odd secs. Can't remember now much time he lost to Contador in those two stages but it would have been around that mark.

For those who care, the cadelevans.com.au site was mentioned on CN a day or so ago. Worth checking out his point of view of recent races. It also shows his new Canyon TT rig, which is a little strange looking to say the least. The profile stem seems to be connected via a front square cut-out from the head-tube. Bizarre.
 
unsheath said:
Let's not forget that there's a much stronger probability that Cadel is clean than some of his peers, which may go some way in explaining his lack of an extra gear.
What dictates this "stronger probability"? I do recall Evans riding for T-Mobile. The same T-Mobile that is now known to have had an organized program for enhancing their riders. I know I may rile some Australian feathers but I don't see how because a rider seemingly has a "lack of an extra gear" in someone's opinion means he's beyond suspicion. This will likely angry the Australians and Evans fans but why should he be beyond reproach when he rode for the very same team as Sinkewitz, Ullrich, Riis, Sevilla, Zabel, et al? Does the fact that Evans can accelerate away from say, Kim Kirchen on a grand tour mountain stage indicate that Kirchen is likely clean and Evans is dirty? I'm not not saying that he is but he's no more beyond scrutiny considering his time at T-Mobile than the rest.

Strange logic you have there.
 
Angliru said:
What dictates this "stronger probability"? I do recall Evans riding for T-Mobile. The same T-Mobile that is now known to have had an organized program for enhancing their riders. I know I may rile some Australian feathers but I don't see how because a rider seemingly has a "lack of an extra gear" in someone's opinion means he's beyond suspicion. This will likely angry the Australians and Evans fans but why should he be beyond reproach when he rode for the very same team as Sinkewitz, Ullrich, Riis, Sevilla, Zabel, et al? Does the fact that Evans can accelerate away from say, Kim Kirchen on a grand tour mountain stage indicate that Kirchen is likely clean and Evans is dirty? I'm not not saying that he is but he's no more beyond scrutiny considering his time at T-Mobile than the rest.

Strange logic you have there.
And if memory serves me correctly, for some strange reason he was never called upon to help Ullrich in the tour. He was out of favour at T-Mobile from the day he arrived.
I wonder why?
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Consider my feathers fluffed a little, but definitely not ruffled! lol

I seem to remember a whole bunch of riders accelerating away from Kirchen at one point, also remember Evans be accelerated away from by other riders...Any rider on any day can have the ride of their life. It doesn't mean they are up to no good or that the other riders are up to no good.

Most of the time it means someone has planned their race well. :)
 
Mar 11, 2009
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Angliru said:
What dictates this "stronger probability"? I do recall Evans riding for T-Mobile. The same T-Mobile that is now known to have had an organized program for enhancing their riders. I know I may rile some Australian feathers but I don't see how because a rider seemingly has a "lack of an extra gear" in someone's opinion means he's beyond suspicion. This will likely angry the Australians and Evans fans but why should he be beyond reproach when he rode for the very same team as Sinkewitz, Ullrich, Riis, Sevilla, Zabel, et al? Does the fact that Evans can accelerate away from say, Kim Kirchen on a grand tour mountain stage indicate that Kirchen is likely clean and Evans is dirty? I'm not not saying that he is but he's no more beyond scrutiny considering his time at T-Mobile than the rest.

Strange logic you have there.
I noticed several people playing the "he is probably clean" card and I was wondering the smae thing...based on what? There was a time when I would have bet decent money that Hamilton was clean......ooops. You never know and never will know who is clean.

I have also seen people claim that some teams have stayed away from Evans because he was known to be a walking medicine cabinet.

Who the hell knows anymore? One thing I won't do is assume any rider is automatically clean anymore because they appear to be "nice guys", their nationality or becasue they are anglos, etc. (which would be my guess as to why some think Evans is so "clean.")
 
Apr 12, 2009
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Angliru said:
What dictates this "stronger probability"? I do recall Evans riding for T-Mobile. The same T-Mobile that is now known to have had an organized program for enhancing their riders. I know I may rile some Australian feathers but I don't see how because a rider seemingly has a "lack of an extra gear" in someone's opinion means he's beyond suspicion. This will likely angry the Australians and Evans fans but why should he be beyond reproach when he rode for the very same team as Sinkewitz, Ullrich, Riis, Sevilla, Zabel, et al? Does the fact that Evans can accelerate away from say, Kim Kirchen on a grand tour mountain stage indicate that Kirchen is likely clean and Evans is dirty? I'm not not saying that he is but he's no more beyond scrutiny considering his time at T-Mobile than the rest.

Strange logic you have there.
So by the same logic would also be the same for Satre, he does ride for a team Run by Riis and former teammates Hamilton and Basso
 
Nick777 said:
And if memory serves me correctly, for some strange reason he was never called upon to help Ullrich in the tour. He was out of favour at T-Mobile from the day he arrived.
I wonder why?
I think that had more to do with his succession of injuries (broken collarbones at least twice). You aren't called upon when you can't produce and he was in no condition come Tour time to contribute.
 
franciep10 said:
So by the same logic would also be the same for Satre, he does ride for a team Run by Riis and former teammates Hamilton and Basso
Like I said no one is above suspicion with the testing consistently being a step behind those that want to cheat and the means to do so. Its sad but true.
 
Mar 3, 2009
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BigBoat said:
Just like the race car driver, how many F-ing 2nd places and top 10s can you get without a huge win?
As a former motor sport journalist, I had (and continue to have) a very good chuckle over this. Very good comparison.

Cheers
Greg Johnson
 
elapid said:
First places for Cadel Evans since turning pro:
2001-Tour of Austria
2004-Tour of Austria (including stage 2)
2006-Tour of Romandie (including stage 5)
2007-Stage 13 TdF, ProTour champion
2008-Settimana internazionale di Coppi e Bartali (and stage 3), Stage 4 Paris-Nice, Stage 2 Vuelta a Andalucía
2009-Stage 5 Settimana internazionale di Coppi e Bartali

Cadel may get a lot of second places, but he can also win as you see above. Individual riders did not beat him last year, teams did (SaxoBank in the TdF for instance). Yes, I am an Aussie and naturally support Cadel. While I make no excuses for his behaviour nor his riding style, he is a solid rider. He may not be the best climber and he may not be the best TTer, but he is better than most TTers at climbing and most climbers at TTing. That's why he often challenges for wins (with lots of top 4 places) and occasionally wins as well.

Right on there. Just add one consideration, and it is he seems to crap in his pants every time he really has a shot at winning a Big Event. With all due respect, at his level that's what he hasn't gotten. So he crapped in his pants when unexpectedly leading the Giro some years back and then, last year, did the same when he got slammed at Alpe d'Huez by Sastre. I'm convinved it's a mental state thing. Sure he got the bonk on that stage in the Giro, but so too did Ivan Basso while in pink on the Passo di Stelvio stage in 2005, though he said it was a stomach thing. The real reason I think in both cases, was stress induced. Can't handle the stress and the body doesn't respond: i.e. you pooped in your pants. Then there's the fact that having to face the Armstrongs, Landises, Contadors out there, he simple is one notch below. And nothing against the guy, just athletically he's not at their level. Which means if they're on their game, regardles of whether or not he is, he finishes a close second. Second twice in the Tour is certainly noteworthy, however only the winner is the champion in the cut and dry world of pro cycling. As far as his character goes, it doesn't matter when looking at performance and results. A modern Aussie version of Raymond Poulidor? Perhaps. Allthough another of today's riders who hasn't quite lived up to the expectations is Yaroslov Popovich, who finished 3rd in the Giro one year but hasn't returned to that level. The Italians gave him the nickname, Popo, an abreviated version of his last name. It also happens to me poop in Italian. Perhaps there is more going on here than meets the eye, huh...
 
rhubroma said:
Right on there. Just add one consideration, and it is he seems to crap in his pants every time he really has a shot at winning a Big Event. With all due respect, at his level that's what he hasn't gotten. So he crapped in his pants when unexpectedly leading the Giro some years back and then, last year, did the same when he got slammed at Alpe d'Huez by Sastre. I'm convinved it's a mental state thing.

And nothing against the guy, just athletically he's not at their level. Which means if they're on their game, regardles of whether or not he is, he finishes a close second.
Is it mental or physical? I ask because first you say its one and then the other. Also when he lost Fleche Wallone it wasn't a team that beat him but Kim Kirchen timing his sprint better than Evans. He's obviously got the athletic ability to compete but like you mention earlier in your post it appears the mental side is his undoing. Seldom when he's interviewed does he say the better man won. Usually its that his team was weaker, or that he's not at the peak of his fitness and the event is not one of his priorities. When his priority (The Tour) takes place the excuse for his failure is "his recent fall and resulting injury", that he's not a climber like his opponents and he's "limiting his losses" in the mountains and will make it up in the ITT, his opponents teams are stronger/he's being "triple teamed" etc...

He's obviously quite talented and capable of winning a grand tour and one of the Ardennes classics. He's shown that he can keep it together and win week long stage races and he's actually grown more confident in his abilities where he will take the initiative to attack occasionally where in the past he would primarily follow wheels and react to the action instead of being an animator.
He tends to downplay his climbing ability but usually in the grand tours on the pivotal stages there are only 2 or 3 riders that are finishing ahead of him and we don't know if that is because he's "limiting his losses" or riding within himself saving his energies for another day.
 
Angliru said:
Maybe Horner's asking price was too high. Maybe Evan's salary put a crunch on their ability to meet Horner's price and satisfy the Belgium sponsors who want results in classics that are a cornerstone to the Belgium fans. Who knew Popavich would've faltered the way he did? Based on his history most of us would have thought that he would've been a comparable lieutenant to Evans in the mountains with his past performances in the Giro and for Discovery.
But that's my whole point, if Lotto didn't have the cash or the desire then Evans should have done his upmost to go somewhere else. After 2007, he had every right to make the case that he was a couple of top domestiques away from winning the Tour. Forget Popo or Horner, he should have been getting both! I mean you've gotta be sh-itting yourself when you look up and Van Summeren is setting tempo and you look back and see a sea of black and red and blue and yellow and there still 60 km and two hors cats to go.

If Evans was on CSC he woulda won the Tour in 2007 and maybe last year too. Now it's over. His time has passed. I don't know what marketers would calculate the dollar value of a TdF win, but it's gotta be in the millions. Evans was prolly three top riders away from what he needed. Lotto saved a penny to lose a pound. Dumb, and so was he for stickin around.
 
^ ^ I agree. After 2 years of what he deems minimal support which resulted in, in many opinions, his losing the Tour he would have been smart to try to latch on with another team. I'm not familiar with the details of his contract with Lotto but it's not uncommon for riders to negotiate to have their contract bought out by another team so that they can move to happier pastures. With the worldwide recession, maybe Evans' asking price was too high. Teams weren't exactly breaking the bank in signing riders and with so many teams losing sponsors and folding it became a market with a surplus of riders and
a limited number of teams at the highest end of the sport, all tightening their purse strings. Bettini was given the happy trails goodbye from Quickstep when they weren't willing to meet his demands. While Evans is a Tour contender he's not exactly a proven winner. He won the Pro Tour in 2007 I believe, but only won one race and that was an ITT. It helps in your negotiations as a "star" when you have some wins on your resume.

It doesn't help when you consistently denigrate the efforts of your teammates publicly and then yearly wonder why you get no support, not that the Lotto riders are holding back their support of Evans, but maybe his actions do nothing to motivate them to bury themselves for him.

As far as his being able to win had he ridden for CSC, I doubt Riis would have tolerated his whining and excuses. Nor would Jens Voigt or Cancellara or any of the professionals on that squad. Evans likely would have shot himself in the foot and ruined his chances on his own in spite of the support that was available.
 

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