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"We had a good, aggressive plan for the whole team. Michi and Danilo and Yannick really played the plan to a 'T' getting in the first move, and then I managed to get across to it. We put some pressure on Garmin, which was the m...

Photo: Sirotti

BEN HERMANS

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CADEL EVANS

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TOUR OF UTAH

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10.08.2014 @ 13:11 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Cadel Evans showed his aggressive nature when he finished off a big BMC plan in the most beautiful way by winning the Tour of Utah queen stage. Going into the stage, the team had made a strategy to put Tom Danielson's Garmin team under pressure and even though the American defended his lead, Evans was rewarded for his brave racing by taking the stage win.

 

BMC Racing Team's Cadel Evans outsprinted Joey Rosskopf (Hincapie Development Team) to win the queen stage of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah Saturday while teammate Ben Hermans rode to a 10th place result and hung onto third place overall. Evans and Rosskopf and two others were the last four survivors from a breakaway group of 15 that formed early on and that included three other BMC Racing Team riders: Yannick Eijssen, Michael Schär and Danilo Wyss.

 

Evans bridged a two-and-a-half minute gap on the day's second climb to join the escape 130 kilometers from the finish of the 172.6-km race.

 

"We had a good, aggressive plan for the whole team," Evans said after winning the BMC Racing Team's second stage of the race. "Michi and Danilo and Yannick really played the plan to a 'T' getting in the first move, and then I managed to get across to it. We put some pressure on Garmin, which was the main goal of our plan."

 

Sitting ninth overall, the former Tour de France and world road champion was the virtual race leader for a time as the breakaway made its way over two more climbs to the base of the Snowbird ascent.

 

"It was looking good for awhile there depending on how strong (race leader) Tom Danielson and the Garmin team could be on the last climb," Evans said.


Evans said he had to ride strategically as the four neared the Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort with the gap to a chase group hovering at 25 seconds.

 

"I had to save some legs for the finish and defend any strong attacks on the last section of the climb if I wanted to have any interest in the stage," he said. "So there was a bit of two or three different levels I was playing there. In the end, I made a move up on the general classification, but the stage win was more important."

 

Evans took his fifth win of the season – and what is believed to be his first on U.S. soil since he made the switch from mountain biking to road cycling in 2001. It was the BMC Racing Team's 20th victory of the year and followed Schär's stirring victory on Stage 2 where he soloed the final 60 kilometers to win by two seconds.

 

“It was a premeditated plan. It's a plan that's easy to make but hard to execute, but the guys were very good. Mickey (Schär), Danilo (Wyss), and Yannick Eijssen did what they had to do. They were the three that made it up in the move that went away and it was up to me to get across to them," Evans said.

 

"I was surprised that we could get such a good gap. That was thanks to the work of those three guys that rode absolutely flat out to the bottom of Guardsman Pass climb. We got there with a four minute gap. Still not enough in the end for me to move significantly on G.C. but put us in a good position for us to play in the stage.
 
“In the end, I think that we rode really well on the team. My main goal was to come here and race hard. Today we can put down in the books as a pretty solid day. We really like racing here (in Utah). It's in some ways more enjoyable for us to race here than some of the other bigger races because of the ambiance and so on. I think we'll certainly try to be part of the race again tomorrow."

Hermans, who was runner-up on Stage 4's mountain-top finish Thursday, stayed third overall with a day of the race to go after spending the last eight kilometers chasing the two riders immediately behind him in the standings, Winner Anacona (Lampre-Merida) and Wilco Kelderman (Belkin Pro Cycling Team). Nursing wounds from a crash late in Friday's stage, Hermans said he climbed at his own pace.

 

"I didn't want to blow up," he said. "I stayed at 50 meters behind them for five or six kilometers, but I could not come closer."

 

At the finish, he had conceded time to both but remains 26 seconds ahead of Anacona and 34 ahead of Kelderman.

 

"I hope I can hold them off tomorrow and have a better day," Hermans said. "Today, I did not feel as good as the other days."

BMC Racing Team Sport Director Jackson Stewart said he drew up a plan of attack in the pre-race meeting that would force Garmin-Sharp to work hard to defend the lead Danielson gained on Stage 4.

 

"It was really our only option," Stewart said. "The only way for Ben to have a good ride was if the other guys got softened up before the last climb. In all facets of the plan, we could only gain, not lose."

 

Sixth on the stage, Danielson leads Chris Horner (Lampre-Merida) by 57 seconds and Hermans by 1:26 with only Sunday's 125.5-km race to go. Evans climbed from ninth to sixth and is 2:29 back.

 

"All of the guys bought into the plan today and the hard work paid off," Stewart said.

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