Evans cautious ahead of Tirreno-Adriatico start

cycling, Tirreno-Adriatico, Cadel Evans, BMC
Cadel Evans (L) leads his BMC team at the Strade Bianche (Sirotti)

Australia's Cadel Evans heads into the Tirreno-Adriatico cautiously optimistic after two strong early season performances.

Evans finished third overall at the Tour of Oman behind Team Sky's Chris Froome and Alberto Contador of Saxo-Tinkoff, a result that proved the BMC team leader was on track to another solid year of racing.

After the GP Lugano was snowed out, Evans fine tuned his race fitness at the Strade Bianche where he finished 28th overall at one minute and 43 seconds behind Cannondale's Moreno Moser.

Now he looks forward to testing himself further against a field that has attracted some of the best riders in the world, including Oman protagonists Foome and Contador, Peter Sagan (Cannondale), Samuel Sanchez (Eskaltel Euskadi), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Mark Cavendish (OmegaPharma-Quickstep), Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) and Santos Tour Down Under winner Tom Jelte Slagter (Blanco).

Already a winner in 2011 of the race the Italians call the "Race of the Two Seas", Evans remains characteristically cautious as the Tirreno-Adriatico opening 16.9km team time trial in San Vincenzo approaches.

"Some of the biggest stage racing riders in the world will be there," said Evans. "Strade Bianche was a good indication for me, though I didn't make the final in the front group. We'll see how the team time trial goes and then we'll take it from there."

Evans will be well supported by a stacked BMC team which includes 2010 UCI Road World Champion Thor Hushovd and talented American Taylor Phinney.

"The most important thing is to get the team started in the right way in the team time trial," said BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Max Sciandri. "We certainly have the manpower to do well."

BMC Racing Team for the Tirreno-Adriatico
Steve Cummings (GBR), Cadel Evans (AUS), Thor Hushovd (NOR), Klaas Lodewyck (BEL), Taylor Phinney (USA), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL).

The seven-stage Tirreno-Adriatico runs from March 6-12 and will cover 1060.1 kilometres.

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