Evans Wins Worlds Road Race
Cadel Evans (Australia), the man who has been chided for finishing second and third too often and for appearing to lack the killer instinct to win major races, is the world road race champion.
of the favorites. Alejandro Valverde, Samuel Sanchez, Oscar Freire, and Rodriguez (all from Spain) were there, as were Damiano Cunego, Ivan Basso, and Filippo Pozzato (all from Italy). In addition, Evans and Simon Gerrans were in the mix for Australia, Alexander Vinokourov was there for Kazakhstan, along with Philippe Gilbert (Belgium), Kolobnev, and Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Norway).
Vinokourov attacked repeatedly. At the start of the last lap, the Kazakh attacked on the Acqua Fresca. Kolobnev and Hoogerland bridged up to him, but Vinokourov dropped them. Behind, Cancellara attacked, and Gilbert, Matti Breschel (Denmark), Sanchez, Valverde, Evans, and Cunego followed him. Cancellara attacked again on the descent, but he could not shake his companions.
Spain, which had four men in the break compared with one rider each for every other nation represented, appeared to hold the winning hand. Rodriguez attacked on the left side of a road that was split by a divider. When the two sides of the road came together again, Evans attacked at the base of the Novazzano. Kolobnev followed Evans, but the Australian left him behind with Rodriguez. At the summit, 2.5 km from the finish line, Evans led the pair by 0:13.
A determined pursuit might have reeled in the Australian, but Valverde and Sanchez would not chase with a teammate, Rodriguez, up the road. Cancellara, whose express intention was to win both the time trial and road race in front of his compatriots, was being marked by the Spaniards. The Olympic and world time trial champion would settle for fifth in the road race.
Rodriguez said that the closing km were surprising. "I was the entire day in the breakaway," he said, "with the intention of working for Alejandro Valverde, but I believe everybody was watching Fabian Cancellara and when Cadel Evans attacked it was a kind of surprise for everybody.
Rodriguez continued by saying "In the radio Alejandro told me to go on in the lead because there was a possibility for me to win. It is a pity that Kolobnev let a space behind Evans, and I am curious to know what would have happened if we arrived the three riders together." Rodriguez added that Evans was a deserving winner.
For his part, Evans said that he made the world championship road race one of his season's goals when he saw the course. His European home is only five km from the course, and he knows the roads. He feels that this year's course suits him better than next year's, which will be in Evans's hometown of Geelong, Australia.
Evans has acquired the reputation of being passive, of waiting for things to happen in races instead of making them happen. Will this victory, which the Australian forged with a well-timed attack, change his style of racing? Will it give him more confidence? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!
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