Hendrik Redant, team manager of the Silence-Lotto squad, says he won’t lie to Cadel Evans during this afternoon’s time trial.
“If he’s down, I will tell him he’s down,” said the Belgian. But he added that the difficulty would be that Evans will be well into his ride before Carlos Sastre even sets off.
“There is nine minutes between them on the road. Ideally it would be more helpful to us if that gap was three or six minutes. It means that the information I give to Cadel will not be that relevant, because he will be finished before Sastre reaches the final checkpoint on the course.
“So there is no option but to go as hard as possible. It may take a long time before Cadel has a big enough gap to win the Tour de France.
“Normally, he should win. It’s 95 seconds. That’s all it is. He took that in the first time trial at Cholet and that was only 29 kilometres. This is 53. Normally, he should win… but, there are no guarantees.
“We are happy to be in this position. As I said, the only thing that is a little setback is that Evans is fourth overall. If he was second or third, he would have a clearer picture of what Sastre is doing while he’s on the road.”
Redant said he would be very surprised if either Frank Schleck or Bernhard Kohl were a factor, and said that fifth-placed Denis Menchov was now too far back to win. “No, I think it is only Evans and Sastre,” he said.
Meanwhile, CSC directeur sportif Scott Sunderland, said he felt Sastre had a chance. “It’s not guaranteed [that Evans would win]. Carlos is in the yellow jersey and the gap gives him a chance.
“He will have to start fast and try to maintain it. There can’t be any holding back because Cadel is a strong rider in the time trial and if Carlos doesn’t give it his maximum, the gap will close.”