Ajaccio – Australia’s Cadel Evans declared himself satisfied with his performance in Sunday’s second stage of the Tour de France after coming home just a second adrift of surprise stage winner Jan Bakelants.
Evans is feeling his way into the 100th Tour having taken a break after coming third at last month’s Giro d’Italia, although he was comfortable on a short but tricky 156-kilometre ride from Bastia to Ajaccio that featured four testing climbs.
Indeed, the 36-year-old, who won the yellow jersey in 2011 and is looking to become the oldest ever winner of the sport’s greatest race this year, was among the first riders to reach the top of the final climb, the third-category Cote du Salario, 12 kilometres from the finish.
“It was a little bit uncomfortable at race speed, but that’s normal,” he said at the end of the stage.
“But I’ve had a bigger break from racing than any of my competitors, so that’s kind of normal.”
Evans also had praise for his BMC teammates as thoughts begin to turn towards the bigger tests that lie in store when the Tour reaches the French mainland on Tuesday.
“For the most part we’re riding good, trying to use our experience. I like to think I have enough experience now to do the job anyway.
“We’re staying out of trouble, which is the most important thing at this point in the race.”