Unable to attack his opponents nor satisfy his fans, Cadel Evans finds himself in a difficult situation, writes Mike Tomalaris.
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7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:36 PM

Cadel Evans is often accused by the cycling tifosi and sections
of the media of being timid and not attacking, but when he does, his
attempts are quickly shut down by his opponents.

That's the predicament he finds himself in after a failed solo attack on the road to St Girons.

It was a brave move but one that was snuffed out upon the arrival of Fabian Cancellara, Thor Hushovd and others.

The volley of words Cancellara
shelled out at Evans was animated to say the least, and it's fair to
say he didn't hold back at expressing his views that Evans wasn't
welcomed in the breakaway as it would have sparked a reaction at the
front of the peloton from team Astana.

Evans never stood a chance!

What right do riders have to tell rivals to stay away from an attack if it means risking a possible stage win?

After all, there were no guarantees the Swiss and Olympic champion would have won the race.

As
it turned out Cancellara was never a chance given the sequence of events that
happened in the early stages of the long trek through the Pyrenees.

Despite his lower-than-expected-placing on the General Classification,
it's obvious Evans has earned the highest respect from his peers, but
as Dave McKenzie illustrated in the post-stage analysis, he was between
a rock and a hard place.

Maybe it's time too for the tifosi and media to give Evans a similar respect and understanding after witnessing the predicament he's in.

Given today's failed coup, I fear Evans
may have difficulty returning to the top 10, let alone reduce the three
minute deficit currently needed to catch the leaders.

There
is no way the likes of Contador, Armstrong and Leipheimer will allow a
quality rival like Evans such leeway - on that basis he must resort to
trying to win a stage if at all possible.

Perhaps it's not the right time to ask, but what does he do to rectify his current situation at future Tours?

How does he attract the personnel required to support him?

As
he currently tries to fight his way back into contention, Evans must
start asserting his authority on Silence-Lotto's power brokers.

Evans must demand management find the desired riders needed to guide him to overall victory next year.

I
still have my hope Evans will continue the fight, but sadly with the
weak roster he has to work with, I fear that fight may be futile.