Cadel Evans is messing with my head and may insist on embarrassing me.
Damn that aging Aussi!
He’s just won the overall in the Giro Del Trentino which sets him up with confidence and form for his number one priority of the season: the Giro d’Italia.
I keep asking the question “How can a 37 year old grinder win a grand tour?” and Evans keeps on in his efforts to make me look like a fool.
I should know better, having seen an even older Chris Horner win last years’ Vuelta a Espana. But still I persist in thinking that Evans just looks like a tired old dog who has seen better days — like when he won the 2011 Tour de France.
I actually thought Evans would never be the same after his amazing third place overall in the Giro d’Italia. The horrific conditions suited the steady-Eddy, grind-it-out style of Evans and he wasn’t as skinny as the rest of the frozen peloton.
Nevertheless, by our calculations that three weeks of extreme conditions stage racing should have taken the last measure of Evans, that he’d gone so deep for so long that on a purely physiological level, he’d never fully recover from those efforts. In short, despite his third place, we thought the Giro would hasten the end of his career.
But the bastard refuses to lie down and stop pedaling his bike at high speeds. In fact, like all the other riders at BMC, Evans has re-energized now that Allan Peiper runs the show. Initially Cadel wasn’t big on Peiper’s directive that he skip Le Tour for the Giro but now admits it was the right call and he’s excited to shoot for overall victory.
It may be that I just have to get over my aesthetic problems: Evans’ climbing style is plodding, he looks absolutely miserable on the bike and with his stockier build, it appears impossible that he’d stick with the whippets on a 15% grade. He ain’t got those freaky vein legs that Froome shows off.
Yet somehow, some way, he manages. By sheer force of will he claws his way up the GC as others wear down or have an off day. Consistency is never too thrilling to watch but that’s the way he rolls.
I still can’t bring myself to believe that Cadel Evans will be on the podium for the 2014 Giro d’Italia. In fact, I’ve already gone on record saying he won’t make the podium at all. So naturally, he spit in my face and won the Giro Del Trentino and is totally prepped for the big Italian grand tour.
So be it. One of us must be wrong and I’m willfully sticking to my ugly prognostication. Evans off podium in Giro. However, I’m fully prepared to be embarrassed again.