With his contract set to expire at the end of this season Cadel Evans faces the difficult choice over whether to continue racing or hang up his wheels. The former Tour de France champion may have one other option with BMC and the rider having discussed the possibility of racing until the end of the Tour Down Under in January 2015.
Such a scenario would give Evans – Australia's only ever road world champion and Tour winner – with a home-race send off before bringing down the curtain on his long career.
According to BMC management a short-term racing contract is one of two or three options that have been discussed at a preliminary stage.
At the start of stage 19 of the Tour de France, BMC general manager Jim Ochowicz told Cyclingnews that, "Cadel and I have had some preliminary discussions over what his future looks like and racing could be part of that, racing may not be part of that. It's not a definitive answer yet. He's in Utah right now and then he's doing the Tour of Spain so he's really focused on that at the moment. He knows he's doing those races and he's doing a good job so the decision on next year will be made when I see him next, probably in Spain."
When asked if Evans could ride up to and including next year's Tour Down Under, Ochowicz replied: "That falls within the two or three categories. We've discussed a number of scenarios for his future and that's one of them.. Both of us have had preliminary discussions about what that might look like but nothing is definitive."
At the age of 37 and with new stage race talent coming through at BMC Ochowicz has the delicate task of balancing the hunger of his new stars while respecting Evans' stature and experience. Retirement for Evans is another possibility but the team manager publicly stated that any decision to stop racing must be made by Evans and Evans alone.
"At this point in his career, he's raced so many years so hard, this is a decision he has to make alone. Whether to retire or not is not his decision. I can't say what the answer would be. It would depend on a number of factors: what would the schedule look like, what would the price be, all of the normal negotiating topics that we go through with every rider."
"He could also have several different roles. I don't think he's going to jump in and be a sports director. I don't think that's what he wants to do. He could certainly be a consultant in terms of strategy, preparation and technical issues. He's a great ambassador for the brand so there's all kinds of things he might be able to do but again nothing is definitive yet."