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Cadel Evans (BMC)
Evans claims sole leadership at BMC for title defence
During his homecoming celebration in Melbourne, Australia, 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans suggested that was not going to share the team leadership at next year's event with world champion Thor Hushovd, who will join his BMC team in 2012.
In order to defend his crown, Evans said that he needed full team support and was unwilling to have a sprinter like Hushovd in the squad's nine-man roster during the Tour. "Regarding Thor coming to the team, the main objective of (team president) Jim Ochowicz was to get some guys onto the team to get some results early so they wouldn't rely just on me for race wins at the start of the year," he told Reuters.
"I said: 'Look Jim, you want to bring a sprinter to the team, I don't want to ride with a sprinter, because I've done that and I've done my share. If I do the Tour I want to do it for the win.'
"I was fairly clear about that and Jim was accepting of that, so it's under that basis that Thor comes to our team."
During his years at Lotto, Evans regularly had to share team leadership with fellow countryman and sprinter Robbie McEwen. His comments suggest that Hushovd, who has earned a total of ten stage victories at the Tour de France so far and could be a team leader in his own right, may be left out of the event to focus solely on Evans.
Hushovd, who has not been selected by his Garmin-Cervelo team to ride the upcoming Vuelta a Espana, has not yet reacted to Evans' comments yet. However, when he and the BMC team announced their agreement earlier this week, the Norwegian said that his "biggest goal" yet was to win Paris-Roubaix.