Cadel Evans leads Australian reconnaissance of Beijing road courses

Australian Cadel Evans has two major goals for 2008 - the Tour de France and the Beijing Olympic...

Australian Cadel Evans has two major goals for 2008 - the Tour de France and the Beijing Olympic Games. Evans, who last month placed second overall in the Tour de France to become the first Australian to finish on the podium of the event, will fly to Beijing on August 15 to contest the Good Luck Beijing Road events to be staged on the 2008 Olympic road race and road time trial courses on August 18 and 19.

Joining Evans will be fellow road professional Matt White, 2004 Olympic teams pursuit gold medallist, Peter Dawson, Australian pursuit champion, Phil Thuaux and three time junior 2006 World Champion, Cameron Meyer. Athens Olympic road race champion, Sara Carrigan and two time World Cup Series winner, Oenone Wood, will also make the trip for reconnaissance purposes as only men's races are scheduled for the test event.

"I'm looking forward to getting together with the Aussie team and going to a new place," said Evans who represented Australia at both the Atlanta and Sydney Olympic Games but as a cross country mountain bike competitor. "I'm keen to see the course because a 'recce' always gives you a mental edge.

"It's also good to have a picture in your head of the course before you go into the race," said Evans who prepares meticulously for major events including training on the course whenever possible.

The Beijing Olympic men's road race will be staged thirteen days after the Tour de France on August 9 (women's road race August 10) and the road time trials for both men and women on August 13.

"I think the timing will work pretty well because there's enough time to fit in a little bit of recovery and still keep the Tour de France form," explained Evans who, along with Canberra's three time World Champion, Michael Rogers, is expected to target the road time trial. "I'm interested in how polluted it is, what the climb and descent are like on the time trial and what gearing is going to work best," said Evans.

The Beijing Olympic road race course starts in Beijing before heading out to the Great Wall of China some 80 kilometres from the capital.

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