By Paul Verkuylen
Australia's Tour de France runner up has been very much in demand since returning home to Australia. The First Australian to place on the podium at the Tour and the winner of the ProTour competition has been dividing his time between preparations for the 2008 season and commitments to charity events and guest appearances at events such as the Sydney track World cup, where he hosted a private box. While at the track Evans fired the gun to start a celebrity scooter race that featured David Peachey, retiring Cronulla Sharks football player and founder of the David Peachey foundation.
The David Peachy Foundation was founded to help out indigenous kids from rural and remote areas that excel or show potential in rugby league, with a long-term view to extending to other sports, such as cycling.
On Sunday morning, Evans held his own charity event, a casual bike ride over the iconic Harbor Bridge in Sydney, with a field of 170 other cyclists. "It's strictly a social thing, racing is not allowed. My wife will be setting the pace. We are just out to have fun and raise money for the David Peachey foundation," Evan told Cyclingnews on the evening before the event.
The event raised more than $30,000 for the foundation after official sponsors, Citi and the Macquarie Bank each threw in $10,000.
Evans has shown just how humble a champion he is since finishing the season in October. Last week after winning the inaugural Sports Performer of the Year award, he donated half of his $50,000 winner cheque to the Amy Gillett Foundation. "It is my way of saying thank you for the support everyone has given me here," Evans said via video on the night. "I think the Amy Gillett Foundation would be a much worthier benefactor [of the money] than me."
The remainder of his prize he donated to the Ian Thorpe's Fountain for Youth, which was set up by the former Olympic swimming star to alleviate and treat illness and disease in people under 20.
"We do what we can, when we can to help," Evans said.
Next on the agenda for Evan's are some hot laps aboard a Lotus Exige S around Sandown Raceway during a private practice track day on December 6. But after that it's right back into serious training. "Training starts soon, so my time will get a bit limited," Evans concluded.