Cadel Evans Wins 2011 Tirreno-Adriatico and Fabian Cancellara Wins Final Time Trial

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03/15/2011| 0 comments
by AP and Roadcycling.com
Team BMC Racing's Cadel Evans on his way to defending his lead in the 2011 Tirreno-Adriatico. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Team BMC Racing's Cadel Evans on his way to defending his lead in the 2011 Tirreno-Adriatico. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Cadel Evans Wins 2011 Tirreno-Adriatico and Fabian Cancellara Wins Final Time Trial

Australian Team BMC Racing rider Cadel Evans won the weeklong 2011 Tirreno-Adriatico race earlier today, while Swiss specialist and current time trial world champion Fabian Cancellara (Team Leopard-Trek) powered to win in the concluding individual time trial. Watch video highlights from today's 2011 Tirreno-Adriatico time trial in our videos section (US-located readers only).

Australian Team BMC Racing rider Cadel Evans won the weeklong 2011 Tirreno-Adriatico race earlier today, while Swiss specialist and current time trial world champion Fabian Cancellara (Team Leopard-Trek) powered to win in the concluding individual time trial. Watch video highlights from today's 2011 Tirreno-Adriatico time trial in our videos section (US-located readers only).

Former World Champion Evans finished with an 11-second lead in the overall Tirreno-Adriatico standings ahead of Dutch rider Robert Gesink of Team Rabobank, while Michele Scarponi of Italy and Team Lampre-ISD finished third, 15 seconds back.

The 2009 world champion, Evans finished second overall in the Tour de France in 2007 and 2008.

Evans' victory was somewhat surprising to many an analyst considering he had hardly competed this season before this race.

Evans' main goal for this season is to get back onto the podium in the 2011 Tour de France.

"I'm extremely pleased that I rode so well today and throughout the entire race," Evans told Roadcycling.com and Roadcycling.mobi after the finish.

"I worked very hard this winter, training alone for hours. I'm grateful to the riders and staff of the BMC Racing Team who supported and helped me to have such a strong race. Of course my focus remains on the Tour de France, but I always prefer to have some results beforehand," Evans continued and added "That's why I didn't race much early this season. I'm working toward this goal in July."

Team Liquigas' Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso finished fourth overall, 24 seconds behind, and Spanish Vuelta champion Vincenzo Nibali was fifth, 30 seconds back.

Cancellara clocked 10 minutes, 33 seconds over the 9.3-kilometer (5.8-mile) individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto.

Dutch rider Lars Boom finished second in the stage, nine seconds behind, and Adriano Malori of Italy was third, 19 seconds back, on the flat and straight course along the Adriatic coast.

Among the racers contending for overall victory, Gesink had the top time trial, placing 27 seconds behind Cancellara, but Evans was only four seconds further behind.

"After five kilometers, my team director told me I was five seconds behind Gesink and I thought to myself 'Maybe I won't win.' But I rode really hard in the second half of the time trial and it worked out," Evans concluded.

Cancellara has won the time trial world title four of the past five years and also took gold in the event at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Team BMC Racing's assistant sports director Fabio Baldato told Roadcycling.com there was concern when Team Rabobank's Robert Gesink put in an impressive time in today's time trial. "Cadel had to fight all the way to the end today," Baldato commented and continued "But when I saw that he was going so hard in the second half, I knew he could win. Cadel was very strong and confident today."

Many riders used this race as a warmup for the 2011 Milano-San Remo, although Evans is not planning to enter the opening single-day classic of the season Saturday.

Evans selected current World Champion Thor Hushovd (Castelli-sponsored Team

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