Evans, Rogers enjoy successful Olympic recce

Aussies take top slots in Beijing dry run

Tour de France runner-up Cadel Evans and fellow Australian Michael Rogers finished one-two in the Good Luck Beijing time trial test event for the 2008 Olympic Games on August 19.

Held over just one lap of next year's Olympic circuit instead of two, Evans clocked a winning time of 32min 28.92sec for the 23.65km course to finish 24.74sec clear of Rogers, a former three-time world time trial champion. In third place was Alexandr Dyachenko of Kazakhstan who finished in 33:27.52sec.

"It's all good when you win," said Evans, an accomplished climber who is also one of the world's best in the race against the clock. "We are mainly here to collect information and be as prepared as we can be for next year and we've certainly accomplished that, so getting a result on the way is a nice little bonus."

The time trial circuit is a section of the road race course and includes a 10-kilometre climb straight out of the starting gate followed by a 10 kilometre descent all raced along the stunning backdrop of the Juyongguan and Badaling sections of the Great Wall of China.

"I think the climb suits me," said Evans, the Predictor-Lotto team rider who finished runner-up to Spaniard Alberto Contador in the Tour in July. "The course then goes down a valley into the prevailing wind, so it's hard to ride at 60 to 65kmh for ten kilometres into a headwind. Here the one thing that surprised us was that the wind picked up in the afternoon and if it was warm like it has been the last couple of days with the humidity it will make it pretty tough conditions."

Rogers agrees the course will prove testing for everyone who lines up at next year's Olympic Games in China.

"It's certainly very hard from the start and it's going to a be a very challenging time trial," he said. "You don't want to start too fast because you need a lot of energy for the last lap which will really make a difference. The downhill is very open with a lot of headwind and it's not a gradient you can roll down, you really have to pedal. There's no rest, not an inch of rest on the whole circuit."

Rogers has spent the last month recovering from a shoulder injury sustained when he crashed into a metal guard rail at high speed, ending his Tour de France. As a result, he rated his fitness level at around 65 percent for Sunday's race. He has also endured the pain of a cracked tooth whilst in Beijing.

Evans' victory in the time trial was enough to give him overall honours for the two day, two stage Good Luck Beijing Event.

During the weekend of racing the 2004 Olympic Games women's road race champion, Sara Carrigan, and former world number one, Oenone Wood, also took advantage of the opportunity to try out the course and both said the experience will be invaluable in 2008.

© BikeRadar 2007

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