Tour De France 2012 Results: Cadell Evans in Great Spot Despite Copying Riders

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Tour De France 2012 Results: Cadell Evans in Great Spot Despite Copying Riders
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Cadel Evans is sitting comfortably just off the lead after the third stage of the 2012 Tour de France. In Stage 3, Evans finished with the peloton, which was given a time just one second behind stage winner Peter Sagan. 

This leaves Evans in sixth place in the overall standings—just 17 seconds off leader Fabian Cancellara. 

His position isn't shocking. He is the defending champion, after all, and there was nothing to suggest he wouldn't be on his game. What wasn't quite as expected is that there are other riders on his game.

Evans, and his BBC team, were able to dominate last year's race with consistent performances and strong finishes. They tend to race near the front of the pack, which allowed them to avoid the big crashes. It also set up Evans to come up with the big finishing kick. 

Well, that has become a crowded way to attack the race this year—a fact that is not lost on Evans. 

The Herald Sun's Leo Schlink offered up this quote from the defending champ, on the similar strategy,  following Stage 2:

That's our speciality. 

But with relatively easy starts (in stages one and two) it meant there were a lot more teams with energy towards the toward the end and that's made it a bigger fight to get into position.

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Did you catch that? "But with relatively easy starts" is Evans' way of letting the field know that they can try and copy his successful blueprint, but they aren't going to be able to do it when the going gets tougher. 

Evans has shown he has what it takes to pull this off over the entire Tour. He excels at this kind of racing, and you don't beat a champion by trying to do what they do best better than they do. It is their weaknesses that need to be attacked. 

So Evans can sit comfortable after three stages because he has the lead in plain sight, and many of his competitors are going after a strategy that Evans is the king of. 

 

General classification leaders at the end of Stage 3

1.

Fabian Cancellara 

Radioshack-Nissan

14h 45' 30''

 

2.

Bradley Wiggins 

Sky Procycling

14h 45' 37''

+ 00' 07''

3.

Sylvain Chevanel

Omega Pharma-Quick Step

14h 45' 37''

+ 00' 07''

4.

Tejay Van Garneren

BMC Racing Team

14h 45' 40''

+ 00' 10''

5.

Edvald Boasson Hagen

Sky Porcycling

14h 45' 41''

+ 00' 11''

6.

Cadel Evans 

BMC Racing Team

14h 45' 47''

+ 00' 17''

7.

Vincenzo Nibali

Liquigas-Cannondale

14h 45' 48''

+ 00' 18''

8.

Ryder Hesjedal

Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda

14h 45' 48''

+ 00' 18''

9.

Andréas Kloden

Radioshack-Nissan

14h 45' 49''

+ 00' 19''

10.

Bauke Mollema

Rabobank Cycling Team

14h 45' 51''

+ 00' 21''

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