Simon Gerrans has dismissed suggestions that Cadel Evans didn’t have the support of his Australian team-mates when he claimed victory at last year’s UCI World Road Championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland. The normally reserved rider didn’t mince words when addressing rumours that of the nine man squad, eight had vowed to support himself at a pre-race meeting while only Evans voted for himself.
"That was absolute bullshit. I don't know where that story came from," Gerrans told the The Sydney Morning Herald. "We were shocked to hear it. It couldn't have been further from the truth. We sat down, had our team meeting and discussed tactics and who were the best chances.
''I had a good run leading into worlds, winning the Grand Prix de Plouay and [a stage in] the Vuelta,” he added. “While Cadel and I were going for the win, we decided I would be the best [chance] to win but by natural selection he was good enough. I wasn't. We were equally protected. Cadel had the legs to finish it off. I didn't."
The pair, who ride for BMC Racing Team and Team Sky professionally, will again join forces for the world championships this year. Evans will defend his title on home soil, with the event to be staged in Geelong, Australia, while the course is believed to be better suited to Gerrans. That will see the pair again share leadership of the Australian National Team.
While Gerrans is contesting the Vuelta a España in Spain ahead of the event Evans will use Paris-Brussels, GP Fourmie and GP Wallone as some of his preparation events. Evans had contested the Vuelta leading into last year’s championship race but his smaller BMC Racing Team squad isn’t contesting this year’s event, having already competed at the year’s first two Grand Tours: Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.