Evans conquers Tirreno-Adriatico with stage win

Cadel Evans wins stage six, Tirreno-Adriatico 2011

Australian Cadel Evans secured his chances of winning the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race with a stage win in Macerata, Italy today. BMC Racing's captain, twice second at the Tour de France, fought back attacks by Giovanni Visconti and Vincenzo Nibali in the final 500 metres shooting up into the city's centre.

"It's for [team owner] Andy Rhys and all of BMC," said Evans. "I hope this is only the start of a winning season."

Italian Champion Visconti finsihed second and Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) third. Behind were Liquigas team-mates Nibali and Ivan Basso.

Evans leads the race by nine seconds over Italian Scarponi. He gained an additional 10 seconds thanks to his stage win, his first since he won the Montelupone stage at the Giro d'Italia last year. This year, he will skip the Giro to focus on winning the Tour de France.

Evans won't say it, but he must receive a boost out of finishing ahead of his rivals for the Tour. Basso, Robert Gesink and Andy Schleck tried today, but all lost time.

"Honestly," said Evans, "I am just thinking about winning Tirreno-Adriatico."

The race finishes tomorrow with a flat, 9.3-kilometre time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto. Evans is a better time trial than his nearest rivals are and stands a good chance to win his first race overall since Coppi & Bartali in 2008.

At Tour de France in 2008, he battled to win the overall, but started the final time trial second last ahead of Carlos Sastre.

"This time, I will start last," Evans added. "It will be a huge advantage to have the others' times. I am motivated."

Mark Cavendish's HTC team-mate Bert Grabsch dominated the early hours of the day in two-man escape with Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil). They gained just over 10 minutes, but the closing circuits of Macerata were designed attacking riders like Evans and yesterday's winner, Philippe Gilbert (OmegaPharma-Lotto).

"The Milan-San Remo's Poggio," said Gilbert, "will be easier than this was today."

The escape duo was caught on the final of three closing circuits around Macerata, where last year Maxim Iglinsky won.


Tirreno-Adriatico 2011, stage six: Ussita to Macerata, 178km

1. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing

2. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Farnese Vini

3. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-ISD

4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale

5. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale

6. Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM

7. Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone

8. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank

9. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto

Overall classification after stage six

1. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing

2. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-ISD at 9 secs

3. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 12 secs

4. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 15 secs

5. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 21 secs

Cadel Evans wins stage six, Tirreno-Adriatico 2011

Cadel Evans wins the stage and strengthens overall lead

Related links

Tirreno-Adriatico 2011: Cycling Weekly's coverage index


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