We are often told that with age comes wisdom. To put a cycling spin on the truism, with the loss of power output, anaerobic capacity and recovery comes a more insightful and wise perspective.
We’re wondering where on that physical decline versus wisdom boost we can place former Tour de France winner Cadel Evans?
He announced today that while he’s behind schedule and has to be careful with his Tour progression, he plans to also ride the Giro d’Italia. Yes, at age 36, the Australian insists on doing the deadly Giro-Tour double. In case you haven’t noticed, Evans isn’t Marco Pantini.
Not only is Evans riding the Giro, he’s racing it. “I won’t be at the Giro just for training. I want to get back to my very best. I know a lot of people are skeptical because I’m 36 years old but that doesn’t bother me,” said Evans. He admitted he’d be an underdog to Nibali and Wiggins.
This sounds like an exhausting and counter-productive idea but after losing last season to an Ethiopian virus, Evans feels he needs the extra torture. He certainly knows his body and has an argument for the double grand approach.
“My situation is a bit strange because there are not many riders who perform better with two Grand Tours than one in their legs,” he stated. “In my situation, with the racing I missed last year, I need and I feel comfortable with this program.”
You know who thinks this program is a fabulous idea — the guy many think should be BMC’s Tour de France captain — Tejay van Garderen. He has to figure that Cadel will now show up for Le Grand Shindig tired and mentally worn out from the Giro after being worked over by Bradley Wiggins and the Sky machine.
Now Evans is a true grinder on a bike. He always looks like he’s about ready to die but somehow he grits his teeth and fights to the end. His 2011 Tour de France victory was a tribute to tenacity and mental strength. However, the Giro-Tour double at age 36 jet seems beyond foolish. And we’re wondering why it was BMC’s suggestion that he take on this crazy workload.
Evans may hold his own in the Pyrenees but when the third week rolls around and he takes on Alp d’Huez twice in one day, we just can’t see him sticking with Chris Froome.
The Sky approach is to wear down and crush opponents with a relentless tempo on the big climbs. We think Evans will be tired before he even lands in Corsica for Le Grand Depart.
Generally, with age comes wisdom but that’s not always the case.