Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) has been flying under the radar of most media during the Vuelta a España, but at the start of stage 18 he said that he would be making an announcement about his future shortly before the upcoming world championships in Spain.
Speaking to a small group of reporters, Evans did not reveal the contents of the announcement, although there has been rising speculation that the 37-year-old might be considering retirement.
After a strong time trial in Borja, where he placed sixth, his highlight of the race results-wise, Evans is currently lying 55th at 1:42:02.
"This is the first Grand Tour I've done where my main role is [not to lead but] to be good for Samu [Sanchez, BMC leader in the Vuelta], which is a real change in mentality. My performance has been way below what I wanted but that's a little bit related to a lot going on in my life and I haven't been as concentrated as I'd have liked to have been, but anyway it's coming better now. A bit late, but better late than never," Evans said.
Asked if he had been selected for the Worlds, the 2009 world champion said with a smile: "Well I haven't heard otherwise so I'm assuming so! From what I hear anyway, Michael Matthews is going to be our guy so the same thing, I'd go there in a role that maybe if it's a hard, aggressive race, it'd be for me or Simon Gerrans, but at the same time if it's a real fast race I'd prefer to be putting my efforts into riding on the front to pull back breakaways in the last lap. But that's how the Worlds goes, one moment you think it's all lost and the next you're riding for the win."
Asked about his future, Evans said with a laugh: "I'm wondering about that too. As I understand it, we're going to be able to make an announcement just before the Worlds because I'd like to go to the Worlds just focussing on that, and have everything clear in my head, what's going on.
"I want to focus on and do a really good end to the season, at the Worlds and Lombardia, they're going back to the old course there and I hope to be of course competitive at the end of the year."
Before the race, he told Cyclingnews no decision had been made on his future. "I'm concentrating on riding well here and then looking at things after this Vuelta," he said. "I want to see how my body recovers and reacts in the third week before I make any firm decisions."
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Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for Cyclingnews.com, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.
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