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An exhausted Cadel Evans (Australia) at the finish.
Former world champion to end his season at the Tour of Lombardy
Cadel Evans has praised new world champion Thor Hushovd for his successful ride in Geelong and claims that the Australian team rode the best race he had seen in a professional world championships.
Evans finished seventeenth as he relinquished his rainbow jersey a year after his victory in Mendrisio. He rode very aggressively but admitted he was hit by cramps in the final kilometre and finished the race “pretty spent”.
“What a race! My result aside, an incredible day in cycling and in world sport,” Evans said in his latest blog on his website.
“Now having had some time to reflect on the race objectively; I am still convinced that the Aussies rode the best that I had seen in a Pro Worlds. And Allan 'Alby' Davis finished off the good team work well behind deserving winner Hushovd.”
“I made the most of nearly every opportunity in the latter part of the race, with maybe one or two lapses...in six and half hours, being human and all this happens... but most importantly, in the interests of the Aussie team - we were firing on all nine cylinders.”
“I was not so surprised that it arrived in a group finish, but it did surprise me how aggressive some of the early moves were, hence why I worked to be in each of the dangerous moves after Simon and Stuey had done their work.”
“Judging by the impressive cramps I got in the last kilometre, I don't know if a bit more luck my way would have made a big difference, I finished that one pretty spent.”
Evans praised his teammate Matt Hayman and the Australian Under men's team that won the world title with Michael Matthews.
"Special mentions for: the great weather, the great crowd, Matt Hayman for being the consumate professional he is, and looking after me until it 'got nasty' (very selective), and to the Australian U/23's. Just keep doing as you are boys, it's obviously working well," he wrote.
Evans revealed he had predicted to Norwegian television before the world championships that Hushovd had an excellent chance of victory in Geelong.
“After seeing how well Thor was climbing in the Tour, it reminded me of how well he can go uphill when he is good, and therefore, arrive to a hard finish like that at Geelong a lot fresher than most of the others. I'm still yet to see a replay of the finish....I have been a bit busy... but I hear he made it look easy."
Evans had hoped to finish his 2010 season at the world championships but has already returned to his European home in Switzerland and will again end his season at the Tour of Lombardy on Saturday October 16. Evans finished tenth last year, just a few seconds behind winner and then-teammate Philippe Gilbert, after working hard for him in the finale of the race.
“I was not expected to race anymore, but with some team and family affairs to tend to in Europe, I will ride Giro del Piemonte and Giro di Lombardia to end my long season,” Evans announced.
“No big expectations, my legs are tired but my motivation is still there to contribute a bit more to 2010.”