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Joe Evans impresses for Team GB in Tour of Istria

Joe Evans

Joe Evans

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JOE Evans clinched a top-25 finish against the best junior cyclists in the world in the Tour of Istria – while also helping Great Britain teammate Matt Gibson take sixth.

The Thomas Alleyne’s sixth form pupil formed part of a team of six in the three-stage event over three days in Croatia.

Evans, who was celebrating a second GB shirt in a matter of weeks, was given the role of super-domestique.

The Uttoxeter cyclist was tasked with looking after the GB team leader – and getting him into position in order to attack the rest of the field.

Stage one was a rolling 114k affair which after a number of breakaways came down to a bunch sprint.

Evans led out Gibson who sprinted into fourth place.

The 90k second was far more mountainous, with a number of long tough climbs.

Evans again rode at the front all race – keeping Gibson out of danger until the last climb.

He led Gibson as fast as could up the final 3k before running out of steam on the final cobbled ascent, releasing Gibson who hung on for sixth and fifth overall.

Stage three proved a chaotic one after Gabs Cullaigh broke his chain in the first few kilometres.

Evans waited for his GB teammate and paced him back to the bunch. At the front Gibson was making breaks from the peloton in an bid to open up a gap over the French overall leader.

Eventually the bunch came back together but with 20k to go Cullaigh crashed out.

With Evans and Gibson riding strongly at the front they changed tactics, with the Uttoxeter rider leading Gibson to put the GB cyclist in prime position for the sprint finish.

Gibson finished seventh and sixth overall – 19 seconds behind French winner Aurelian Paret-Peintre.

Evans was 24th out of a 160-strong field, just 11 seconds further back despite all his selfless work for the team.

Two weeks earlier Evans also donned the GB colours for the classic one-day Paris-Roubaix race on the 13th of April.

The race, over 117k, contained 16 of its famous cobbled sections .

Unfortunately the six-strong GB squad all suffered punctures and mechanical problems.

Evans also got caught up in a couple of crashes, but still rode hard for a creditiable finish in the velodrome in Roubaix – but well down the field.

Evans now turn his attention to the domestic cycling scene this weekend with the three-day Isle of Man Junior Tour.

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