Criterium International: Evans Wins Stage 2 Time Trial

Tour de France Champion Cadel Evans has won the stage 2 time trial in the Criterium International and now leads  the race

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Cadel Evans earned the BMC Racing Team’s first win of 2012 by the slimmest of margins, taking the Stage 2 time trial Saturday by 0.3 seconds at Criterium International and assuming the overall lead with one day to go.

The defending Tour de France champion said his victory over three-time world time trial champion Michael Rogers (Sky Pro Cycling) – was “a pleasant surprise” in the 6.5-kilometer race against the clock. “Things have taken awhile to come together this year,” Evans said. “The old engine was taking awhile to warm up. But it’s a good sign of things to come.”

“I wasn’t as far behind as I thought. Now I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Tomorrow is where the race is won or lost.” Evans said he had not become discouraged by his performances in earlier races. Before Saturday, the former world road champion’s best result was eighth on Stage 4 of Tirreno-Adriatico. “I’m always training toward my major objective of the year – the Tour de France,” he said. “You go through ups and downs as you are building up to a big event. Things are coming around a little bit better now.”

Evans started his day by leading out teammate Danilo Wyss for a runner-up finish to Florian Vachon (Bretagne-Schuller) in the 89.5 km morning road race. The BMC Racing Team had four riders in the front group of 39 that finished 26 seconds ahead of the field after getting away on the final climb.

“It was a great situation for the team,” Wyss said. “We had a crazy sprint with two crashes in the last kilometers but I had a really great lead out from the Tour de France champion.” The success continued in the time trial as Evans took the overall lead and Marco Pinotti (sixth) and Brent Bookwalter (eighth) also finished in the top 10.

Sunday’s final stage is a 179 km race featuring five climbs, including a mountain-top finish. Assistant Director Max Sciandri said the BMC Racing Team is up to the task. “We’re going to do our very best to defend the lead, just as we did when Cadel was winning races last year like Tirreno-Adriatico, at Romandie and the Tour,” he said.

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes