Following Cadel Evans' announcement that he will retire from professional cycling on 1 February, 2015, Cycling Australia (CA) [president-elect Malcolm Speed has praised the achievements of the 37-year-old. Evans is the only Australian to have won the Tour de France (2011) and the World Championships (2009).
"It has been the journey of more than a lifetime, something I could never have envisioned when first experiencing the joy of riding a bike on the dirt roads of Bamylli (Barunga) in the Northern Territory," he said. "It is amazing how far two wheels can take a person. A special thank you goes to my current and final team, and to the many fans and people around the world who just enjoy riding a bike. Thank you – and keep riding."
The 37-year-old will race in BMC colours at the Australian championships and the Tour Down Under next January, before stepping into a new role as a global ambassador for the bicycle company following the Great Ocean Race.
Speed, in a press release from CA, explained the influence that Evans has had in growing cycling in Australia to a mainstream sport.
"Significantly Cadel hasn't just left a legacy for Australian cycling, he has left an indelible mark on the world of cycling," Speed said. "Australia has a long and proud cycling history, but no one has had the sort of impact of Cadel.
"He's one of the select few Australian sports people to have transcended the sport, which was highlighted by the deserving reception he received at Federation Square following his historic Tour de France victory.
Speed added that Evans' accomplishment has seen him become on the nation's most celebrated athletes.
"He is also undoubtedly responsible for the improved health of many Australians, who have been inspired by his feats to take up cycling for recreation, racing or community. The name of Cadel Evans is one that will forever be celebrated in Australian sport, just as Dawn Fraser, Sir Donald Bradman, Cathy Freeman and Rod Laver are.
"We congratulate Cadel for what he has achieved, thank him for his enormous contribution to Australian cycling and wish him all the very best for his future endeavours."
In his road career, Evans finished on the podium of all three grand tours as well as wearing the leader's jerseys at the three week races, but it was his 2011 Tour win which saw him become a household name in Australia. Evans had previously finished runner-up at the Tour in 2007, by 23 seconds, and also in 2008 by 58 seconds.
Evans was also honoured with The Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his service to cycling and the community.
1st Tour de France 2011
1st Tour de Romandie 2006, 2011
1st Tirreno–Adriatico 2011
1st Giro del Trentino 2014
1st Critérium International 2012
1st Settimana Coppi e Bartali 2008
1st World Road Race Championships 2009
1st La Flèche Wallonne 2010
1st points classification, Giro d'Italia 2010
2nd Tour de France, 2007, 2008
3rd Giro d'Italia 2013
3rd Vuelta a España 2009