From the performance he delivered at FlÃ¨che Wallonne, it's becoming
increasingly obvious that Cadel Evans is primed for a Giro d'Italia to
In fact Italy's Grand Tour is one for the world
champion to lose, given his current form.
You don't have to be
Einstein to realise Cadel is enjoying life as a rejuvenated pro-bike
rider, posting a number of strong performances so far this season.
leads a new team, he wears the rainbow jersey and is winning big races,
and the way he left cycling's number one Alberto Contador in his wake
on the climb to the finish line, said it all.
Whether Cadel is
hungry to complete a FlÃ¨che - Liege double this weekend is insignificant.
conquer a Spring Classic on the roads of Belgium is a bonus to a season
where his top priority was to dominate the Giro and then ensure the
nightmare experience of 2009 isn't repeated at the Tour de France.
has been transformed since his world championship victory in Mendrisio
last September - wearing the jersey lightly.
into an experienced, masterful tactician and that was clearly seen at FlÃ¨che Wallonne.
In fact he was hardly spotted by throng of
chasing cameras until the last five kilometres and the final climb on
the legendary Muur de Huy.
Rising to a gradient of 19% Cadel
looked so comfortable compared to Contador who would have been a
short-priced favourite to hang on and take line honours with 500 metres
After all, how many times has Contador pulled away from
all-comers in similar scenarios?
Cadel was brilliant in the way
he literally saved his best until last.
Whether the timing of the
season is not quite right for the Spaniard remains to be seen as
there's no doubt cycling's Matador is revolving his entire year around
another victory on the Champs Elysees.
And while Cadel has
similar objectives, I feel his sights are firmly set on winning the
This can still be achieved without Swiss BMC teammate
Thomas Frei, who may be spending the next two years serving suspension
given his positive doping bust.
At this stage he won't have to
face-off against Contador or Denis Menchov as both have
decided to bypass Italy.
Cadel's main challenges for General
Classification are expected to come from Carlos Sastre and Bradley
Cast your mind back to August last year. Remember the
questions raised when Cadel announced his move to BMC?
sceptics had their say and the knives were out. Many of us all were all
quite puzzled by the decision.
Well, so far so good and it seems
everything is falling into place.
The stresses and anxieties of
the well-documented days at Team Lotto are well behind, and here's
hoping we'll have someone to cheer home when the Grand Tours click into
gear in a couple of weeks.