Cadel Evans has ended any speculation that would miss the national road championships on Sunday by officially announcing he will take place in the event. With this confirmation it is expected that a capacity crowd will be in attendance to watch the 2009 World Champion join a field of over 150 riders tackling the 183.6km race over 18 laps of the 10.2km for the first time since 2005.
"My training has been very focused in the last few weeks and I feel that I’m at a level that should hopefully enable me to be competitive on Sunday," said Evans, who is beginning his season earlier than past years as targets the 2014 Giro D’Italia.
"I know it's going to be hard work going up against the larger teams, but it will be interesting to see how the race unfolds and I'm looking forward to a good, solid hit out."
Evans will be taking on the strongest line up of men's riders ever assembled for a national championship this Sunday including, Team Sky’s Richie Porte and Nathan Earle, ORICA-GreenEDGE’s Simon Gerrans, Luke Durbridge, Simon Clarke, Matthew Goss and Matthew Hayman as well as Garmin Sharpe riders Rohan Dennis, Steele von Hoff and Lachlan Morton.
Jonathon Cantwell, Will Clarke and Jack Anderson will also headline a large contingent from pro-continental outfit Drapac who will be hungry for the win.
The championships kicked off with the time trial events held in Burrumbeet yesterday with Michael Hepburn (elite men), Felicity Wardlaw (elite women) and Jordan Kerby (under 23 men) claiming the first of the national jerseys on offer in challenging conditions.
Racing continues on Thursday in Ballarat’s city centre with the Sturt St criterium beginning with the U23 men’s race at 4.30pm, followed by the elite women and elite men leaving the start line at 5.30pm and 7.00pm respectively.