THE defence of the Tour de France title by former Woolgoolga Public student Cadel Evans has received a timely boost.
Evans recorded his first win of the year in the time trial of the Criterium Internationale at Porto-Vecchio on Corsica over compatriot Michael Rogers.
Had the 35-year-old reigning Tour de France champion not produced the ride he did against the clock on Saturday, questions would have been asked about Evans' preparation for this year's tour, which begins on June 30.
By beating Rogers, a triple world time-trial champion who is in great shape, Evans was reassured by his result and numbers with a view to the tour.
A regular user of social media such as blogs and Twitter, Evans expressed his feelings regarding the time trial win on his own website.
"It seems our progression towards the big goals (and time trials) later in the year is OK," Evans posted.
"Only 0.28 seconds OK, but a little win is also a nice little pat on the back for the work we've done so far.
"After the lack of fortune we have been up against, a welcome pat on the back, too.
"Things have taken awhile to come together this year. The old engine was taking a while to warm up. But it's a good sign of things to come.
"I wasn't as far behind as I thought. I'm always training towards my major objective of the year - the Tour de France."
The win on the weekend means Evans, whose father still on the Coffs Coast, can be confident his form is on an upward trajectory.
He has a couple of weeks recovery ahead of him now before tackling the Amstel Gold Race (April 15) in the Netherlands before the the Fleche-Wallonne (April 18) and Liege-Bastogne-Liege (April 22) in Belgium.
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