Having received a special BMC teammachine SLR01 as a gift for his final Tour Down Under appearance, Cadel Evans will finish his career on another custom bike this Sunday at his Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race thanks to his BMC Racing team. From February 2, Evans will no longer be a professional cyclist as he transitions to a new life as a BMC Switzerland Ambassador.
"I have had my time in professional sport," Evans said. "I gave absolutely everything I could to the sport on the competitive side. I have gotten everything out of myself and that is the way I wanted to finish my career – without any regrets. I have wrung my competitive spirit pretty dry. Now I am looking forward to continuing to work with BMC Switzerland. It is all coming together real nicely."
The final bike of Evans' career is identical to the one the rode last week at the Tour Down Under, finishing third overall, except for one key feature. The bike's blue colour scheme represents the ocean and colour of his farewell race and replaced the predominately white of his final WorldTour race bike.
The rear stays showcase Aboriginal cave art, which is special to Evans, according to BMC, as he grew up close to a settlement in Australia and enjoys their culture. Three tribal circles symbolize three principle phases of Cadel Evans' life to date: discovering his passion for cycling, becoming a professional cyclist and his new chapter upon retirement.
The words "forever grateful" are written across the top tube as a token of gratitude to the world of cycling for all that it has given Evans throughout his career, the fork gets the Australian flag, while the gold band on the down tube symbolises his Tour de France win and the rainbow stripes, his 2009 world championship title.
Also adorned on the top tube, is a Tintin decal which, according to Evans, is "the only cyclist who gets a framed picture on my bedroom wall".
BMC's owner, Andy Rihs, said the custom bike was further appreciation of Evans' accomplishments with the team to mark the end of a career which saw the 37-year-old win the Tour de France and world championships.
"We know that the Great Ocean Race is something that Cadel has worked hard on," Rihs said. "So we thought that a gift in the form of a bike – in the colours of his race – would lift his spirits as he transitions from professional cyclist to the next phase of his life."
Click here to see the gallery of the last bike that Evans will ride in his career