Cadel Evans hadn't enjoyed the most ideal lead-up to this Olympic Games. His bid to win a second Tour de France began well but as the race developed it became clear the defending champion didn’t have the condition to topple the consistent Bradley Wiggins. The final time trial on stage 19 was the primary indicator that something was wrong. His Olympic participation was immediately put in doubt.
Evans rode in support of his team in Saturday’s road race but following the end of the 250km event, he seemed unsure whether he would start the time trial on Wednesday. It has now been confirmed that Evans will not be taking to the start ramp, leaving a single Australian competitor for the event, Michael Rogers.
A representative from the Australian Olympic Committee issued a media release early Monday morning regarding Evans’ condition following the road race. Evans mentioned he would need to assess his recovery before making any decision about the time trial.
“He has been seen by the cycling doctor Mark Fisher and Olympic team medical director Peter Baquie,” a AOC representative said.
“They have confirmed he is fatigued and will not recover in time for Wednesday.”
The Australian team sports director Matt White confirmed the decision to pull out of the time trial was not purely up to Evans. The decision was “100 percent mutual”, White said to SMH, citing “inadequate recovery and fatigue”.
The rules for the Olympic time trial state that participants for the time trial must also be included in the road race squad. This leaves Simon Gerrans, Matt Goss and Stuart O’Grady who could potentially fill Evans’ spot. These three however, are not accomplished time triallists.