Australian Cadel Evans appears ready to win the Tour de France next month. BMC Racing’s classification leader had the most consistent build up of all of his rivals, even three-time winner Alberto Contador.

“Now we just have to get him on the starting line and race,” BMC’s general manager, Jim Ochowicz told Cycling Weekly today.

“Our team is prepared for the Tour, to help Cadel. We’ll have a good time trial team, we’ll be there in the rolling and flat stages and we’ll take him as far as we can in the mountains, then it’s up to Cadel.”

Evans twice already finished second overall, once behind Contador in 2007 and once behind Carlos Sastre in 2008.

With a strengthened BMC team, Evans won two stages races – Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour of Romandy – and finished second to Bradley Wiggins in the Critérium du Dauphiné last week. Those results, combined with a less stressful Tour build up, top those of three-time Tour winner, Alberto Contador: the Tour of Murcia, the Tour of Catalonia and the Giro d’Italia.

Contador tested positive for clenbuterol last year, has been investigated and acquitted. He must stress, though, about the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearing set for early August.

Evans, strictly speaking of results, performed stronger than rivals Andy Schleck (Leopard-Trek), Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Robert Gesink (Rabobank).

“When you can win two ProTour [World Tour] races and get second in a third leading to the Tour, that’s pretty good,” continued Ochowicz.

“The plan was to start out slow. He passed on the Tour Down Under and some of the smaller stage races in exchange for more training and quieter sessions.”

Contador and Schleck may have had different pre-season build ups, but they both are more explosive than Evans. They’ll try to take advantage of Evans, and Sky’s Wiggins, on the six high mountain stages. Evans, though, will claw them back slowly in the mountain stages and out-perform in the time trial.

“Cadel will be there every day, grinding it out,” Ochowicz said. “If you are there every day, you’ll win the Tour de France.”

Only on July 24 in Paris, BMC will know for sure if Evans’ staying power, his strong early season and experience will produce Australia’s first Tour de France winner.

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  • Megan

    Hey Mark N., can you post a pic somewhere? Will you cook your hat or eat it sashimi style?

  • Matthew

    Funny reading back over this thread in light of today’s events!

    Mark N. – have you got any sauce to go with your Scott Addict R2? It might make the carbon taste better.

  • Mark N.

    I didn’t realise it was April 1st !

    Oh dear, I see the macho posturing pre-Tour de France has started two weeks early, i.e. every possible contender gets interviewed before the race, and they ALL tell you that they are going better than they were last year (“the tests prove it” etc.). It is pointless journalists asking these questions as they have to be taken with a sackful of salt. The only way to “prove” how well a rider is going is how well he does on the road – i.e. Contador would never have said last year that he was going nowhere near as well as he was the year before, because that would be showing a weakness that he knew he had. It’s all just a game.

    As for Evans, he will never win the Tour – if he couldn’t keep up with Bradley in the mountains in the Dauphine, then how the hell do BMC expect us to believe he will be able to win the Tour – come off it guys, we’re not stupid ! He had his chances, and now he’s too old. After all, didn’t CW do a poll some years ago asking us if Cadel would ever win the Tour, and more said no than yes…

    If he does win it (ever), I will eat my hat (and my lovely Scott Addict R2 bike !!)

  • Mark

    I really don’t know why certain people keep pimping Cadel Evans as a potential TdF winner. He is a very good cyclist; but he never has had, and he never will have, what it takes to make the final cut.

  • Darrell Anthony

    I can’t see Cadel pulling them back in the big race. Like mentioned he lacks the power and pedal speed to hurt them. Also, he is not a better time-trialer than AC. Lastly, his team is nowhere near as strong as Saxo-Bank, Leopold Trek, Liquigas, Rabo Bank and Team RadioShack. The stronger his opponents it brings out the worst in him. I think his time is passed three years ago. He talents have stayed stagnant, while other have left him behind.

  • Matthew

    Evans would be a worthy champion though. He has worked exceptionally long and hard, making incremental improvements year on year to get where he is today.

    I have just a horrible premonition of Contador on the top step of the podium doing his shooting gun thing and a beaming 37 year old Vinokourov standing a step below him…

  • Matthew

    I thought headlines like this got written at the end of July, not mid June…

  • jon

    “we’ll take him as far as we can in the mountains,then its up to cadel” Ah well,never mind cadel,next year maybe!