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Evans sparks debate over the value of Australian national title

Aaron S. Lee
January 11, 20:20,
January 11, 20:39
First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, January 12, 2014
Cycling Australia Road National Championships
2009 Worlds: Australia's Cadel Evans basks in the moment of winning the world championship

2009 Worlds: Australia's Cadel Evans basks in the moment of winning the world championship

  • 2009 Worlds: Australia's Cadel Evans basks in the moment of winning the world championship
  • A happy Cadel Evans (BMC) in Tours for the start of stage 13
  • 2009 Worlds: Cadel Evans (Australia) attacks with all his might in the closing kilometres and rides away alone to a world title

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Tour winner causes a Twitter stir

On the eve of one the most anticipated national road race championships in Australian cycling history, social media was set abuzz following a head-to-head Q&A between pre-race favourites and soon-to-be Giro d'Italia rivals, Cadel Evans and Richie Porte, in an article published in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Journalist Rupert Guinness posed 15-questions to both Evans and Porte covering a wide range of topics, including the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and this weekend's National road race championships.

Evans' response to what it would mean for him to be the national champion caused a Twitter stir.

Australia's first – and only – Tour de France champion stated: "I suppose I would be obliged to wear a national champion's jersey for the year" and that as a professional his aim is to get WorldTour points, so other than the jersey, in the grand scheme of things, "it doesn't count for much."

In contrast to the 2009 UCI World Champion, Porte answered by saying that earning the green and gold stripes would be "absolutely brilliant" and that wearing the "distinctive jersey" would make for a "very special year" training and racing in Europe.

The fallout was immediate, with tweets questioning Evans' patriotism and character. Evans' manager Jason Bakker, however, came to the defense of Evans by tweeting "What a load of rubbish" in regards to those questioning his patriotism and that Evans possesses "enormous national pride." Bakker had a further dig at Evans' critics by saying "hang, draw and quarter him on a comment."

In response to speculation over Evans’ patriotism, Guinness defended Evans when talking to Cyclingnews.

"People that know Cadel would know that he’s always proud about wearing the Australian jersey. He’s worn it in Olympic Games and World Championships. In fact he won a world championship in the Australian jersey. He’s always been proud of wearing the jersey."

"I understand the point that Cadel was trying to make was to decipher the difference between the national championships and a WorldTour race, which is the Tour Down Under, and the fact that there are points which are important to individuals and their teams who pay their wages."

Guinness, who authored "Le Tour, a behind-the-scenes account of Evans’ Tour de France win in 2011, concluded: "I think that while Cadel said what he said, his pride in representing Australia is as strong as it has ever has been."

Besides Evans and Porte, Rohan Dennis, Matthew Lloyd and defending champion Luke Durbridge of Orica-GreenEdge, along with teammate and 2012 champion Simon Gerrans, all will contest the Australian men’s road race national championship as pre-race favourites before opening the 2014 UCI WorldTour at the Tour Down Under in Adelaide on January 19.

DAVE P 8 months ago
Storm in a espresso cup.
DAVE P 8 months ago
an espresso cup.
phanatic 8 months ago
sideshow of a sideshow
Uncle_Tod 8 months ago
Who even cares, jerseys don't speak for much in a bike race, legs and teamwork does.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Cadel is not in touch with his current status in the pro peloton. He is better of going for a National RR while he still can...
brucegolla 8 months ago
he was third at the giro last year dooder
Anonymous 8 months ago
Yes he was because stages were canceled, everyone could see that he was fading in the 3rd week.
Cance > TheRest 8 months ago
Actually Evans did alright in the last mountain stage. He certainly wouldn't have left the podium. As for the things he said, I tend to agree a bit. I rarely remember the australian champions, when compared to other nations like France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Denmark etc. Maybe its just because I'm not an aussie, but even for danes, the national championships once meant more than it does today.
vassosa 8 months ago
The national championships never meant very much, you can find material on line which describe teams who advise their riders agains winning it... so it doesn't overshadow the sponsors.
philjthommo 8 months ago
The only reason he dropped to third place was due to mechanical failures. You could see him climbing back up to the columbian trio prior (in true Cadel style) prior to the 2km to go mark where he all of a sudden was pushing a huge gear and losing time to everyone. Please go back and review the race.
Fernando2016 8 months ago
There is a very good book out about that on July 24th 2016. Sarah.
Fernando2016 8 months ago
There is one last point - the value of a national championships - is ZERO if a drug cheat - a bonus for the Insitute coach for match fixing the athlete while severely abusing merit athletes and in the case of WA womens TP in 2012 who were 3.21 at nationals - faster than the London World Cup Team on a faster track - NO OLYMPIC TP MEDAL with abuse by the above - LYING PIGS in life. END
bike_boy 8 months ago
Snitor 8 months ago
What is Fernando2016 talking about?
gsouthwell 8 months ago
He appears to be tripping....
Lightening Toke 8 months ago
I'm pretty sure Fernando is claiming that an AIS coach doped Annette Edmonson.
Lightening Toke 8 months ago
Oohhh. Wow.
barn yard 8 months ago
she is not from WA
Lightening Toke 8 months ago
You need to decipher the code more carefully. It's precisely because AE is not from WA that you know it is AE.
dsotherby 8 months ago
A bit silly that Evans' manager defended him by saying, "...he’s always proud about wearing the Australian jersey. He’s worn it in Olympic Games and World Championships." That is only relevant if Evans had a choice to wear the Australian jersey in those races, but he doesn't -- every cyclist must wear their countries jersey in those events, regardless of whether or not they like it. I'm not saying I agree or disagree with all the banter that's going on, I just thought it was a meaningless example of his patriotism.
Broth3r 8 months ago
A jersey's value depends on the national's course. If the course favors a rider who can be expected to drop like a fly on mountain, then there really isn't value to it. A national champion will be carrying his nation's standard for the season. He should do so with pride, dignity, and not be expected to fall easily. That's a consideration I feel many national federations do not have when selection the national's course, including the Australian one.
Chuck_T 8 months ago
Don't forget the timing of the event too. It's not in the best interests of many riders to be somewhere near their peak at this stage of the season. The Euro National champs are placed at a much more practical time in the calendar. Geographically it's difficult to schedule the Aussie champs at a better time.
maldux 8 months ago
Cadel Evans actual words were disgraceful. He may not have meant it to come out that way but it's not a good look. There is no way Rupert Guinness can effectively defend what he said. What a contrast to Richie Porte. Cadel came across as "ho hum, been there, done that". We need to hear a clarification from Evans and it must come via Rupert Guinness.
movingtarget 8 months ago
When Porte has podiumed the Giro and the Vuelta, won the Worlds and the Tour he may think the same.
wheel chaser 8 months ago
Watch every word you say these days or the piranhas will chew you up. I don't believe cadel is any less patriotic because he stated the cold hard facts...that jersey won't pedal the bike for him or win races.