Cadel Evans (BMC) attended the presentation of the European training centre of the Australian Institute of Sport that will also be the administrative headquarters of the GreenEDGE team on Monday. At the event he confirmed that he will not join the new Australian team next year.
He’s busy gearing up for the Tour de France and he will be back in action at the Dauphiné, starting on Sunday with a prologue in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.
“Since the Tour de Romandie [the second World Tour stage race he won this year after Tirreno-Adriatico, ed.], I’ve been doing my normal training towards the Tour de France”, Evans told Cyclingnews in Gavirate, in the north of Italy.
“The Dauphiné will be an interesting race for me to see where I stand. I’ll go with no big expectations and I’ll take it as a test. It will be a test for the riders who haven’t done the Giro as well.”
Having raced the Giro before and worn pink twice (in 2002 and 2010), the Australian didn’t miss much of the racing at this year's race.
“[Alberto] Contador was at a level on his own”, Evans said. “It’s been a race with lowlights unfortunately but it was a nice one to watch from the couch. My favourite stage was the second last one, won by [Vassil] Kiryienka.”
Contador’s domination didn’t break Evans’s morale, as he still believes the overall victory at the Tour de France remains a possibility for him at the age of 34. “I think he’s beatable at the Tour de France”, the captain of BMC said. “Everyone is human.”
Evans acknowledged that he has already seen some of the stages of the Tour de France and the time trial of the Dauphiné in Grenoble will help him prepare for the only individual exercise against the clock at the Tour this year, as both events will be contested on the exact same course.
On the EDGE
GreenEDGE Cycling’s general manager Shayne Bannan publicly told Evans: “We’d love to have you next but you’re in a very good team. We’ll watch you racing with BMC and when the time is right, we’ll have a discussion.”
Evans, who lives on the other side of the Swiss border in Stabio, told Cyclingnews: “I’m here to support Australian cycling but I won’t join GreenEDGE as I am contracted with BMC for next year. I have a wonderful team. Andy Rihs has invested a lot in me. We’ve put a lot of efforts together and we’ll continue building on this. It’s great to see an Australian team and when it’ll come to racing, we’ll be in competition against each other. I’ve been working with Shayne and these people from the AIS since 1997, I think. [GreenEDGE’s financial backer] Gerry Ryan was my sponsor as far back as 1995 and he’s been supportive of Australian cycling since. GreenEDGE is created by all the people I have a long history with but despite our friendship, we’ll be competitors.”