Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cadel Evans has a SPLEEN OF FURY!

Have to admit, for many years I was not a fan of Cadel Evans.  It was really several things that led me in that direction.  It was his lack of desire to attack and his following of wheels that drove me nuts.  He would ride and hang on, but never put his nose out in the wind. I remember dropping this comment during a group ride which almost resulted in Nuun water coming out the nose of a fellow rider, "Cadel doesn't really ride a Ridley, he rides a Hoover; all he does is suck wheels" This in addition to the tears when he pulled on the yellow jersey (mid race, not in card deduction even if it was Paris, but at least you won the entire race).

Plus you had some media moments like this one:

I just thought he was a 2nd place holding jerk. Fast forward to Worlds 2009....Holy shit he owned that race!  I was stunned he attacked and even more stunned that he stayed away.  Cadel then went on to honor the Worlds jersey in a way no one has in years.  Some say that one race did not change him as a rider, I disagree.  He was no longer scared to take a risk and lose the podium.  2nd place was no longer a pleasing position to him; he wanted the top step. He has quickly become one of my favorite riders to watch.  No Andy Schleck here, this guy has a Spleen of Fury that does not go away in 24 hours. Now, he will cut your head off if you try to take his yellow jersey!

Cadel has paid his dues, had injuries (multiple c-bones in one season), worn and lost the jersey, had horrible mechanicals (Vuelta 2009). He has been bested by a few Spanish doper types at Grand Tours and I think he has a score to settle.  He is not only due, he has set his whole year up to peak at the Tour.  If Contador comes to the race with only 5 bullets in his Pistol then I think we could see Cadel hang close enough to pass Conta, Basso, and Schleck in the final TT.  He is my pick for the win in July.*

*or August/September if Conta wins and gets it taken away in court

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