Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) is set to decide on his future within the sport before the end of this season with his current contract set to end in December. According to the former Tour de France winner’s agent, Evans has not entered negotiations with other teams, with the rider’s agent Jason Bakker telling Cyclingnews, “I think when he finishes at BMC that will be the end of his career.”
Evans finished inside the top 10 in the Giro d’Italia this year and showed strong form in a number of early season races but at the age of 37 is heading into the twilight of his racing days. BMC confirmed earlier this month that they would sit down with the rider later in the season while he remains focused on a string of races leading up the Worlds in Spain.
“At the moment it’s a bit early and we’ll see how the rest of the year goes,” Bakker told Cyclingnews.
“He started well at Tour Down Under, had a good nationals as well and then won Trentino before a top 10 in the Giro. It wasn’t as high in GC as he would have liked, but he still had a strong recent period and he’s riding well.”
Evans moved to BMC at the start of the 2010 season, linking up with the team after several years at Lotto. He has enjoyed several major wins with BMC and won Australia’s first ever Tour de France in 2011. Since then he has struggled with the odd health issue but has remained competitive. Bakker believes that BMC will be his final team and that Evans’ future will rest on a number of factors, including motivation.
“Personally I can’t see him riding for another team. I think BMC is his final team. That’s my honest opinion. He has great respect for Andy Rihs and that’s mutual. I think when he finishes at BMC that will be the end of career.”
“A lot will depend on how he rides for the rest of the year, his motivation and his role within the team.”
“I don’t think he has a time frame on making a decision. He’s a highly motivated rider and he loves his cycling. He doesn’t do it for fame or fortune; he does it because he loves the sport. I think he’ll know when the time is right to stop but at this point I think he wants to keep on riding.”
“At this point he’d like to keep riding but it’s not just his decision. He has family considerations and there are a number of factors.”
Evans has been linked with a move to Orica GreenEdge in the last few months. However Bakker confirmed that such a transfer was pure speculation.
“There’s always speculation with Orica because of the Australian link and there’s very strong mutual respect between Cadel and Gerry Ryan but I think that’s just obvious speculation. He’s contracted to BMC this year so I don’t think he’s the type to talking to others. He’s getting ready for Utah, Colorado, the Vuelta and then Worlds.”
So far Evans has not discussed a possible contract with other teams and UCI regulations that teams cannot sign new riders until August 1.
“There’s been nothing but I would assume that other teams think that he’s staying with BMC. And there’s also the fact that while he could fill a role on another team, I don’t think that’s in his mind. He’s a loyal person and has been happy at BMC since he went there. It’s not like he’s racing to get out of there and he has a number of strong and close relationships on that team."