Reigning UCI world road champion Cadel Evans thinks it would take an alignment of the stars for him to try his luck in a breakaway at this year’s Tour Down Under. Instead Evans is looking forward to spending time getting to know his BMC Racing Team team-mates, having joined the Professional Continental team in a shock move from ProTour outfit Silence-Lotto last year.
“If the opportunity arises then maybe, if the stars align. I’m not counting on anything,” said Evans. “It’s not suited to my capacity, I’m just happy to be here to get my season started and meeting my new team-mates is probably the most important thing for me. “
Despite being Australia’s first road world champion and competing in the jersey on home soil, Evans is under no illusions as to why all the chatter surrounds Lance Armstrong and not himself. “He’s won seven Tours, I’ve only lost five,” he joked.
After arriving in Adelaide, South Australia for the race on Saturday Evans is looking to simply get to know his team-mates. That doesn’t however mean BMC Racing Team isn’t looking to achieve results at its ProTour debut.
“I didn’t know any of them,” said Evans. “For me, not in any way to dishonor the race at all, but it’s really a great opportunity for us just to get to know each other. Guys like Danilo Wyss and Thomas Frei are here for opportunities and I’m just happy to be here with them, get to know them and help them get some results.”
Given the predominately flat terrain doesn’t suit Evans, a Grand Tour or tough one-day rider, he has modest goals for his appearance at the 12th Santos Tour Down Under. For Evans this week will be more about getting to know his new home, which will be aided by the presence of team owner Andy Rihs at the race.
“Work together well as a team, that’s my main goal,” said Evans. “There’s no pressure for results, I do that a bit later when the races really suite me. For me it’s just functioning well as a unit and to come away from that knowing each other better will be my main thing. Hopefully some of the younger guys can find themselves some opportunities in breakaways, it depends how strong the other teams are riding I think.”