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Cadel comes back with a bang

Victory for Cadel Evans in the two-day Criterium International in Corsica has put the Australian on track for a competitive defence of his Tour de France title.

Image: Christophe Ena/AP/Press Association Images

BMC RIDER CADEL Evans has been a muted presence in the peloton since claiming his maiden Tour de France title on the Champs Elysée last year, but an impressive all-round victory in the Criterium International on the French island of Corsica has reinvigorated the Australian’s hopes of mounting a stern defence of his title this June.

Assuming control of the race during the second of yesterday’s two stages, a 6.5 km time trial, the 31-year-old refused to relinquish his advantage over the course of today’s 179 km route from Porto Vecchio to the summit of the Col de l’Ospendale.

Aided by diligent performances from domestiques Brent Bookwalter, Marco Pinotti and Amael Moinard, the BMC rider crossed the line with an aggregate 8-second advantage over stage winner Pierrick Fedrigo (FDJ-Big Mat) and Michael Rogers (Team Sky).

Speaking to Eurosport after the stage, Evans attributed his performance to success in the time trial:

“Yesterday was a good indication and a nice confidence boost. Sometimes things go well and it all comes together. Up until this point, I had trouble bringing things together.

“But I knew to keep working at it and things would come together. It’s a good indication, but we have big races still to come.”

Elsewhere, local favourite Tom Boonen (Pharma-Quick Step) claimed the 235km Gent-Wevelgem classic.

The Belgium held off promising Liquigas rider Peter Sagan to become only the fifth three-time winner of the event.

Read more on this story from Eurosport

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