Australian aims at latter part of 2012 season
Cadel Evans (BMC) has confirmed that he will not take part in the 2012 Santos Tour Down Under as the Australian race does not fit in with his preferred build-up to his Tour de France defence.
The Tour Down Under gets underway on January 15, but Evans is not expected to make his racing debut until at least six weeks later, as he did this year when he began his campaign at the Giro del Friuli in early March.
"There is not much I can do about this," Evans told The Advertiser. "I have a lot of expectations coming later in the season so anything that compromises my performance there, is not something I can consider.
“Don't get me wrong, I would love to test myself on the harder stage finishes in next year's Tour Down Under but I do have a lot of other `tests' to pass in 2012.”
Evans did, however, suggest that he would pay “a social visit” to the South Australian race, which he rode in rainbow bands of world champion at the beginning of 2010.
With the Olympic Games in London following immediately after the Tour de France and a hilly world championships in Valkenburg in September, Evans acknowledged that his main objectives are all grouped in the second half of the season.
“To repeat a season like my 2011 would be very good, although in 2012 with the Olympics and a suitable world championships course, the goals will be different," he said.
Evans ended his 2011 season with a solid showing at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, which came on the back of an intensive round of criteriums and public appearances in the wake of his Tour de France triumph, and he hinted that he would prefer a low-key start to next season. With the arrival of Philippe Gilbert and Thor Hushovd, BMC have a number of riders who can lighten the load of leadership in the early months of the season.
“We are still in a comprehensive planning phase right now, but looking at the calendar I am guessing I will be having a quieter start to 2012 than this year,” Evans said.