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Evans optimistic over Olympic Games start

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Cadel Evans (BMC) had a tough day.

Cadel Evans (BMC) had a tough day. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Matthew Goss (Orica - GreenEdge) at the start.

Matthew Goss (Orica - GreenEdge) at the start. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Three-time time trial world champion Michael Rogers (Sky)

Three-time time trial world champion Michael Rogers (Sky) (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Orica-GreenEdge's Simon Gerrans finished in the first lead group but couldn't land a blow

Orica-GreenEdge's Simon Gerrans finished in the first lead group but couldn't land a blow (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Stuart O'Grady to Fabian Cancellara: "Up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down up and then down again. That's today's stage"

Stuart O'Grady to Fabian Cancellara: "Up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down up and then down again. That's today's stage" (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Barracuda ) all smiles before the start.

Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Barracuda ) all smiles before the start. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
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Team Sky's Matthew Hayman

Team Sky's Matthew Hayman (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Luke Durbridge (Orica GreenEdge) heads out for his winning prologue

Luke Durbridge (Orica GreenEdge) heads out for his winning prologue (Image credit: Sirotti)
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A battered Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) makes a beeline for Rouen

A battered Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) makes a beeline for Rouen (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Tuesday looms as decision day for Cadel Evans regarding his place in the Australian Olympic Road Cycling Team for the London Games. The 35-year-old's recovery from his Tour de France defence, where he finished seventh overall, will be key.

Luke Durbridge, Heinrich Haussler, Mathew Hayman or Mark Renshaw stand to benefit should Evans withdraw.

Evans did not have the form in 2012 that was crucial to his success 12 months ago, and the final few days of his Tour were blighted by a stomach bug. He met with Australian Professional Men's Road Coordinator Matt White prior to Sunday's final stage in Paris.

"We're going to play day-by-day, but on Tuesday we'll make a final decision," White told AAP.

"If he hasn't recovered in the next 48 hours, then we'll look at doing something. But at the moment, the plan is Cadel rides the Olympics Games road race."

Evans has told White that he is optimistic of competing in his fourth Olympics having competed in Beijing in 2008 and in mountain biking in Sydney in 2000 and 1996.

"He's tired, like everyone is - he's obviously still suffering a little bit from the illness he had on the rest day, but he's quite confident he'll be ready for the Olympics," White explained.

The Australian team - Simon Gerrans, Matt Goss, Stuart O'Grady, Michael Rogers and Evans - will leave for London on Monday afternoon.

Australia is hopeful of finishing on the podium in the men's road race on Saturday, but the team was never going to be riding for Evans with Goss the team's spearhead. Evans had been targeting the time trial on August 1 but White was not giving anything away on whether there would be a direct replacement for him in that event.

"There's a few different options we can play... we're going to the Olympics to medal, not to finish in the top eight or to show our presence," said White.