BMC team president Jim Ochowicz has confirmed Cadel Evans will be the team leader for the 2013 Tour de France.
Asked if Evans would still be BMC’s outright leader for the Tour, Ochowicz told Fairfax Media: “Sure… that’s clear.”
He added Evans’ performance in the Giro had cemented that leadership: “It solidifies that. You have to have the confidence and he does. This is a great performance here [by Evans].”
Cadel, 36, has raced well above all expectations in the Giro, including his own.
Tejay van Garderen took out the eight-day Tour of California that finished last Sunday and has continued to develop on his strong form. In the 2012 Tour de France, van Garderen took out the best young rider (white) jersey but he doesn’t have the Grand Tour experience Cadel has.
At 24, Tejay has a long and bright furture in the sport but we have seen so many young promising riders never reach their full potential for one reason or another.
Tejay is blessed with having the experience and also the attitude Cadel brings to racing. But the reality is Cadel has the experience and, based on Giro form, the legs to continue to command the top rung at BMC.
Tejay will get his time but it won’t be at the 2013 Tour de France.
Make no mistake about Cadel, behind that quiet, almost shy personality is the heart of a warrior. He is a very tough cookie. You don’t become a World Champion and win a Tour de France by luck.
In the 2010 Tour de France he took the yellow jersey on stage eight, despite crashing and fracturing his elbow. On stage nine his injuries caught up with him and he lost the jersey but still finished the Tour.
In 2011 his entire Tour almost came undone when he had repeated mechanicals. His composure helped him to get the issue resolved (change bikes) and he then brought his mountain biking skills into play and descended like no one’s business to tack back onto the key general classification bunch.
Cadel was out of many people’s reckoning for the 2013 Tour de France but the Giro is a tougher race and the weather this year has made it even more of a challenge.
Chris Froome is still the form rider to beat but given Bradley Wiggins had to pull out of the Giro, I suspect there is some unresolved issues on who is going to lead the team.
Throw in Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali and the 2013 Tour de France is shaping up to be a cracking race in the GC stakes.
Layer that with Cannondale (Peter Sagan), Omega-Pharma (Mark Cavendish) and Lotto’s (Andre Griepel) big sprint trains and you have an amazing three weeks of racing.