Despite the swelling negative public opinion over Alberto Contador’s acquittal for doping in the 2010 Tour de France, Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) is taking a wait-and-see approach. Evans told VeloNews Wednesday that he would watch where the case goes in appeal before weighing in.
The Spanish Federation dismissed charges stemming from a positive test for the banned substance clenbuterol on the second rest day of the 2010 Tour de France, which he won.
Evans said he would rather sit back and watch how the UCI and WADA handle the situation before passing judgment.
“I don’t know all the details and what goes on there, but it’s a turn around from what they (the RFEC) were saying before,” Evans told VeloNews. “I’ll wait and see what the other people say who have a say in this situation and how they react to it.”
The 2009 world road champion was in Italy training ahead of his season debut at the Giro del Friuli in early March. Evans is limiting his racing days this season in order to arrive fresh at the Tour de France, where he hopes to be in contention for the final maillot jaune. Until this week, it was expected that Contador would miss the Tour with a one or two-year sanction. Evans said that even if the Spaniard doesn’t start in France, a number of riders like Andy Schleck (Leopard-Trek) are ready to step in as favorites.
“Obviously, Alberto, you look at his grand tour and stage race results, he’s usually the guy to beat when he focuses on a stage race,” said Evans. “If he’s in the race, he’ll be the man to beat. But if he’s not there, someone will step up and fill his shoes.”
Will Evans be the man to tie those laces? He was one of the strongest riders in the 2010 edition before he ceded his yellow jersey with a fractured elbow on stage 9. The Aussie will see his first stage race action of the year at Tirreno-Adriatico in mid-March.