Tour De France 2012: Cadel Evans in Prime Position to Gain Ground on Day 2

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVJune 30, 2012

LIEGE, BELGIUM - JUNE 30:  Cadel Evans of Australia and the BMC Racing Team in action during the Tour de France Prologue at Parc d'Avroy on June 30, 2012 in Liege, Belgium. The 99th Tour de France starts with 6.4km individual time trial around the streets of Liege.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Cadel Evans has put himself in a great position to have a monstrous Day 2 at the Tour de France after a solid opening day. 

The BMC Racing member finished the opening day in 13th place but is just 17 seconds behind the leader. The full standings can be found here

Evans, the defending champion of the Tour, emerged as a slight favorite to win this year's event, and it'd be foolish to write him off after finding himself in a great spot to make a run toward the lead Sunday.

The Australian took to Twitter after his opening round to express his feelings on the first day.

The Tour has started...Well, everyone knows that.... Not great a start but not bad. The real stuff starts tomorrow. Nice ride Tejay!

— Cadel Evans (@CadelOfficial) June 30, 2012

RadioShack Nissan team member Fabian Cancellara continued his success of dominating the opening-day prologue by taking an early lead in the Tour.

The track in Liege is the same place where the 31-year-old topped Lance Armstrong in the opening-day event just eight years ago. Cancellara proved once again why he's heralded as the best time-trial rider in the sport.

LIEGE, BELGIUM - JUNE 29:  Defending champion Cadel Evans (L) of Australia riding for BMC Racing Team addresses the media along with director Jim Ochowicz (R) during a press conference prior to the 2012 Tour de France on June 29, 2012 in Liege, Belgium.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Unfortunately for him, he struggles in the mountains and is still seen as no threat to continue his lead for much longer with the quality in the field.

The biggest obstacle standing between Evans and his second consecutive victory on the sport's biggest stage is Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins. 

Wiggins has widely been pegged as the top candidate to dethrone Evans. Surprisingly enough, a Wiggins victory at this year's Tour de France would be Britain's first ever.

Evans has 26 wins and 94 podiums to boast in his career compared to Wiggins' 21 and 46, respectively, but both riders seem to be neck-and-neck when it comes to public opinion on who the front runner is for this year's event.

Whoever wears the heralded yellow jersey at the culmination of this treacherous journey will have to endure 20 stages and nearly 3,500 kilometers. And if history is any indication, it will be Cadel Evans.

 Stay tuned to B/R's Cycling page for up-to-date news and analysis on the Tour de France