Twisted Spoke

My twisted take on the world of pro bike racing.

Posts Tagged ‘Cadel Evans

Meet Mr. Aggressive, Cadel Evans. The Tour Down Under bad boy.

with one comment

Cadel before Christ.

Cadel Evans, tough guy. Yeah, that feels strange but we’re getting used to it.

The 2010 Tour Down Under is the first Protour event for Evans wearing the rainbow strip jersey of World Road Race Champion. What his home town fans are seeing up close is a man with a successful personality transplant. Evans the dull is now Evans the bold.

Since his big win in Mendrisio, Switzerland with an uncharacteristically aggressive attack on the final climb, Evans has completely changed his racing style. The conservative tactician always calculating odds is now the impulsive, daring rider who sees blood and bares pointy incisors.

Cleal 1, pigs 0.

You’re looking at a new tough guy joining the Australian ranks. Bad asses like famous rugby plater Noel Cleal. One story goes that his parents asked him to deal with a plague of wild pigs on the farm. He cornered one of the dangerous pigs, and while it savaged his hand, he felled the beast with a single blow from his other hand. He played the rest of his career missing a few fingers. That’s the kind of Cadel we’re dealing with now.

Underplaying his form coming into his home tour, Evans stated some modest goals for the week. He planned to memorize the names of his new teammates and get in some training. What we didn’t know was that just behind that lie was a fiery cauldron of fury waiting to be unleashed. He must have been listening to Megadeath all week.

When stage three rolled around Evans surprised everyone with an attack. On a searing hot day in Sterling, Evans not only foiled the sprinters but nearly won, taking third behind Spaniard Alejandro Valverde. That was the new Cadel in action. It would have been easy to say, good on you mate, you gave the locals something to cheer, now time to relax.

Cadel. The new Wolverine.

But we’re talking about Evans the gladiator — yes, like fellow Australian Russell Crowe in the Ridley Scott sword and sandal classic. Old Rome and Old Willunga Hill, it’s all the same thing. On the second climb up Willunga, Evans again launched a brutal assault and only Alejandro (borrowed time) Valverde, his mate Samuel Sanchez and Slovakian Peter Sagan had the legs to keep up.

The in-your-face move nearly won him the Tour Down Under. Eventual winner Andre Greipel almost had a heart-attack and his HTC-Columbia team were forced to ride like turbo slaves to save his ochre jersey.

Evans looked razor sharp, maybe even Wolverine sharp. Yes, again, another Australian tough guy played by Hugh Jackman and ten sharp knives. Where was mild mannered Cadel Evans, the man with the classical pianist wife and sophisticated tastes? Dead, that’s where. This was wild man Evans, the crazy bushman of the peloton. You never know what this man will do.

Tour de France legend claims the yellow jersey gives a man wings. Well, the rainbow jersey gave Evans a 50 gallon drum of legal testosterone. Those stripes came with fire. Or we could also call Cadel the deranged Dingo dog at the evil Australian junkyard. Maybe he has a gun collection, chews tobacco and watches old Chuck Norris movies, too.

Cadel Evans is an animal — snarling, hyper-aggressive and barely house-trained. Watch out, boys and girls, the rainbow bad-ass is headed your way.


Written by walshworld

January 24, 2010 at 9:25 pm

The Boss man wins stage 4 of the Tour Down Under. Griepel rules.

leave a comment »

The Boss Down Under.

Alberto Contador admitted that despite 4 grand tour wins he’s not the boss of the peloton. At 38 years of age and back of a long retirement, Lance Armstrong isn’t the boss anymore.

But ask anyone who the boss of the Tour Down Under is and the answer is unanimous: Andre Griepel. He proved it once again on stage 4 from Norwood to Goolwa with a convincing win over Robbie McEwen (Katyusha) and Graeme Brown (Rabobank). It was his third victory in this Tour Down Under after winning the event in 2008 and nearly winning in 2009 before a crash forced him out of the race.

Between the brutal cross and headwinds and the dominance of Greipel’s HTC-Columbia team, all breakaways were hopeless and submission total. The German sprinter singled out the work of new signing Matthew Goss.

“If you have riders like him then no one can pass us,” said Greipel. “We deserve the win because we always ride from the front.” Spoken like a true boss man. This is the Tour Down Under brought to you by Andre Greipel.

Not that a few riders didn’t give it their best despite the long odds. Rockin’ Robbie McEwen has been hunting his first win of the season and came close once again. “The sprint was tough, especially the last five or six kilometers coming in,” said McEwen. “We got a big crosswind from the right which put us in the left gutter. It just blew the bunch to pieces.”

Radio Shack also did their best to steal a win from Columbia but miscalculated according to McEwen. “I was well placed coming into the sprint on the wheel of Gert Steegmans,” said McEwen. “I come across the line second but couldn’t catch Greipel, I gave him a bit too much head start coming from third. I was hoping Steegmans would just hit out early because he’s so strong but he waited and waited, I think he out-waited himself.”

The 25 knot gusts of wind blew away Alejandro (on borrowed time) Valverde’s chances for overall victory. The Spanish dropped from fourth overall down to 26th. He lost 17 seconds and Greipel’s time bonuses pushed the deficit to 41 seconds.

The rocket from Rostock, Germany wins in the wind. The Boss man of the Tour Down Under has put his foot down again.

Written by walshworld

January 23, 2010 at 11:48 am

Griepel wins, no, Evans wins, no Valverde wins. No, wait… who?

with one comment

Andre Greipel wins the third stage in the Tour Down Under. No wait… that didn’t happen.

In a surprising turn of events, Australia’s own world champion Cadel Evans and Alejandro “borrowed time” Valverde beat the sprinters and finished first and second. No, wait … that didn’t happen.

The hilly stage from Unley to Stirling wasn’t nothing if not unpredictable and crazy. The long shot, out-of-nowhere winner?  Portuguese national champion Manuel Cardoso of the Footon-Servetto squad. Yeah, that happened to everyone’s shock and amusement.

It was like the horse at 400 to 1 odds winning the Kentucky Derby. Like the high school kid with the nifty science project winning the Nobel prize in Chemistry. Well kinda, sorta.

Manuel, that's who.

“I was extremely happy to have won the tough stage to Stirling,” said Cardoso after the finish. “Once the attack had been closed Caisse d’Epargne did a lot of work on the front in preparation for the finish but I was able to make a big move in the final kilometre.”

The race heated up 70 kilometers in when Simon Clarke (UniSA-Australia) and Karsten Kroon (BMC Racing) pulled off an escape move. They were later joined by Maciej Paterski (Liquigas-Doimo), Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) and Jack Bobridge (Garmin-Transitions). The move was dangerous but ultimately doomed as Valverde’s Caisse d’Epargne’s team ramped up the speed. That tactic brought Valverde and Evans to the front of the action.

“Coming into the last kilometre it was like riding a race in slow motion, everyone was so exhausted,” said Evans. “When I saw that it looked like they had the lead-outs going – Sky, Rabobank… when they started to accelerate they blew.

“I was just following the wheels through [the group] and it looked like Caisse d’Epargne had enough guys left to follow close to Cardoso but obviously not and I couldn’t come round him,” he added. Cadel barely knows his own teammate so Cardoso is a bit of a mystery for the man in the rainbow lycra.

That’s bike racing. Sometimes the big stars crush everyone in site, sometimes a relative unknown has his day. It wasn’t Andre Griepel, Alejandro Valverde or Cadel Evans that made the headlines.

Evans starts Tour Down Under with flash cards.

with 2 comments

Flash cards? Yes indeed.

The Down Under Social Club.

World Champion Cadel Evans is using his home tour, the Tour Down Under, not for training but for social networking.

He’s pressing the fresh, meeting and greeting, developing a rapport. Yes, team BMC stands for Big Man on Communication.

I’m just happy to be here to get my season started and meeting my new team-mates is probably the most important thing for me. “

That’s where the name tags comes in. Despite his high profile win in the wold Championships in Mendrisio Switzerland, some of the younger riders simply don’t know who Evans is — and vice verse.

Evans has heard the name George Hincapie– something to do with Paris- Roubaix, and had a vague recollection of Alessandro Ballan, him being the previous world champion, but still Evan’s memory is rusty.

“I didn’t know any of them,” said Evans. “For me, not in any way to dishonor the race at all, but it’s really a great opportunity for us just to get to know each other. I’m just happy to be here with them, get to know them and help them get some results.”

Meet & greet.

Not to worry though. Evans has a few conversational ice breakers ready to go for those BMC strangers.  Like, so, do you like dogs? Mine’s named Molly. Oh, you like heavy metal? My wife’s a concert pianist. What, you’ve had a slow wheel change in a big race? Lemme tell you about slow wheel changes. If you were an animal, and it couldn’t be a kangaroo, what animal would you be?

Evan’s goal for the six stage Tour Down Under is to memorize the entire BMC roster, including birthplace, favorite color and VO2 max. According to his coach, Evans has been working out an hour a day with flash-cards.

The world champion is also using the lyrics to Shirley Ellis‘ famous song, The Name Game, to help cement the names of team riders, For example, George Hincapie would be: “George, bo Beorge, Bonana fanna fo Foerge, fee fy mo Moerge, George.”

“Work together well as a team, that’s my main goal,” said Evans. For me it’s just functioning well as a unit and to come away from that knowing each other better will be my main thing.

You go, Cadel. The man in the rainbow has all the colors down.

Written by walshworld

January 17, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Lotto-Omega Pharma. Will riders fail pregnancy test?

leave a comment »

The Lotto Omega Pharma pregnancy test.

Perhaps this is why Cadel Evans beat a hasty retreat from the Silence-Lotto team.

Now we know why he immediately signed for BMC. It wasn’t the personality clash, it was whether he was pregnant for not.

Sure, the doping tests were fine, the constant, 24/7 availability for UCI vampires, fine, but then things went way too far.

With Omega Pharma stepping up and gaining more prominence in the Lotto team, perhaps it was inevitable. The riders were already subjected to constant drug tests. What’s one more test?

For the 2010 season, all riders for the Lotto-Omega Pharma team will undergo pregnancy tests using their Predictor kit. Unique, bold, unexpected, pointless — yes, it’s all those things. Nevertheless….

A spokesman for Omega Pharma defended the pregnancy tests. “We have to make sure there are no false positives. So we start with the men. Obviously, if the test says a rider is pregnant, we know we have a quality control issue,” he said.

Lotto Pharma reading list?

Cadel Evans is gone so now tour hopeful Jurgen Van Den Broeck must bear the weight of expectation and also see if he is in fact expecting. “I don’t know what to say,” said the Belgian star rider. “It is always good to pass a test but this seems silly to me.”

Marc Sergeant, the Director Sportif for Lotto Omega said, “crap, you know, we need the sponsor money. They want to test them for swine flu, Alzheimer’s, early onset menopause, whatever, I don’t care.”

How will the riders of Lotto Omega Pharma react to the enforced Predictor pregnancy tests? We should know in nine months.

Written by walshworld

December 8, 2009 at 8:06 am

Cadel Evans calls Lance Armstrong fat.

with 2 comments

Evans disses Armstrong. Can it really be true?

“He’s going to be bigger and more dangerous than in 2009,” Evans told Australian news agency AAP.

What? Did he just insult seven-time Tour de France winner, cancer survivor, million dollar fund raiser and relentlessly famous endurance athlete Lance Armstrong?

Bigger and more dangerous? Is Cadel Evans out of his mind? Has he lost all reason, judgement, is he on some strange Australian walkabout, speaking in tongues, rambling with incoherent nonsense? In other words, did he just call Armstrong fatter and more violent? The mind reels.

Is there any other conceivable interpretation of these remarks? Bigger, as in what, fatso, slob, Lone Star drinking yahoo living on Tex-Mex chicken burritos? Is that the bigger he is insinuating? Is Evans saying Armstrong has no self control, has lost the will power to manage his weight, that closing in on 38, the champion is a bloated, doughy caricature of his former hard-body self?

And dangerous? Whoa, now there’s a loaded word? What are we talking about here, Cadel? Switchblades, guns, a chainsaw, a samurai sword? Just what exactly are you intimating? That Lance, a beacon of hope to cancer survivors around the globe, has undergone a violent personality change? What lines are we to read between here– is he Scarface, Rambo, a vigilante on a Trek?

It just makes no sense. Why would a mild mannered, thoughtful and classy rider like Cadel Evans call Armstrong fat and violent? Is this just another misquote, goaded by journalists and taken out of context? Did they catch Cadel after a few mojitos too many or has the new world champion just lost his mind?

Twisted Spoke wishes we had an answer.

Written by walshworld

November 19, 2009 at 7:36 am

Gilbert wins Giro di Lombardia. Red-hot rider wins fourth race in a row.

leave a comment »

The hottest rider on two wheels.

The hottest rider on two wheels.

In the Race of the Falling Leaves, Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto) left no doubt who was the strongest.

Gilbert bested Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) in a two-up sprint to win his fourth consecutive ProTour race in a row. He has the form of his life and is no doubt feverishly checking the calendar for upcoming races hoping the season isn’t really over.

There must be a race in Dakar, a kermess in Bora-Bora, a tricycle rally in Peru –something, anything. The man has form coming out his eyeballs. Along with Cadel Evan’s dramatic World Championship win in Mendrisio, Switzerland, Gilbert has transformed the under-performing Silence-Lotto team into a late-season powerhouse. Director Sportif Marc Sergeant must be doing the crazy Lake Como champagne dance.

Vuelta revelation Jimmy Hoogerland (Vacansoleil) made a bid for victory with 48k to go. Then World Champion Evans showed off his rainbow jersey with an aggressive attack but the peloton said “don’t think so, buddy.” Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) gritted his teeth (4ever as his t-shirt says) and launched his assault but Damiano Cunego (Lampre) and Ivan Basso (Liquigas) kept things in check.

It was up to Gilbert to destroy the pack and throw buckets of lactic acid in their faces. On the final climb of the day, the San Fermo Della Battaglia, the Belgian rider used the strong work of his teammate Evans as a springboard. He broke clear near the top, with only Sanchez joining the world’s hottest rider — the Man of Super Form.

After three wins in the last few weeks, Gilbert was not burdened with any gnawing self doubt. “I know the quality of my work and it will bring wins.” He’s not reading any books like The Way of the Superior Man — because he is, without question, Mr. October.

Sanchez sat on Gilbert’s wheel and is now wishing he hadn’t taken that comfy seat. Although Gilbert launched early, he easily held off the Olympic Men’s Road Race Champion. Belgian frites and beer all around.

“I was confident,” said Gilbert. “Before the last kilometre I felt we had enough time and it is always easy to do a sprint with two instead of eight or ten.”

Gilbert goes four for four, winning the Giro di Lombardia, Coppa Sabatini, Paris-Tours and the Giro del Piemonte. The man is scorching hot and insists that the season continue. Now, what was the date on that kermess in Bora-Bora?