World Champion Cadel Evans is determined to win the Tour de France and dump his reputation as a runner-up. "I am tired of being known as the bloke who finishes second in the Tour de France," he told the AAP news agency.
"I had a lot of bad luck this year but I am already looking ahead to next year and am more determined than ever to win it, I won't be satisfied until I have."
Winning the Worlds title “was a great moment for me and the fact I get to wear the rainbow jersey for the rest of the year is fantastic honour," he said.
"It is unlike the yellow jersey in the Tour de France as you never know how long you get to wear that, and it will mean a great deal to me to wear it in Geelong for next year's race."
That doesn't mean, though, that the Silence-Lotto rider has already definitely decided to ride the Tour Down Under (January 19-24) in his native Australia. "There are still some things we need to work on. The race is very early in the year and the Tour de France is in July so I have to consider that."
"That will be the focus of my attentions for 2010 along with the world championships at the back end of the year,” Evans added. “We will just have to wait and see."
Winning the rainbow jersey in Mendrisio was not only the biggest win of Evans' career but saved an otherwise disastrous 2009 season. He also won two stages plus the points jersey at the Dauphine Libere. After finishing second at the Tour de France in 2007 and 2008, he fell to 30th this year.
Looking to save his year at the Vuelta a Espana, he took the leader's jersey for one stage and was in a very promising second place overall, only seven seconds down, going into the 13th stage. Then his bad luck returned, as a puncture on the penultimate climb cost him enough time to drop him to fourth overall. He subsequently dropped down to fifth place before finishing the Spanish race on the podium in third place.
Adding to his woes were the loss of two potential helpers. Bernhard Kohl had signed to join the team before his positive doping tests were announced, and Thomas Dekker was suspended for EPO use only days before the Tour started.
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