Australia's Simon Gerrans has expressed his satisfaction with Cadel Evans' victory at the road race World Championship on Sunday in Mendrisio, Switzerland. Gerrans said the win would help to make up for disappointments throughout his compatriot's season.
"It's huge, it is a massive result for him and a consolation for his disappointing Tour de France," Gerrans told Cyclingnews.
Evans had never finished the Tour de France outside of the top ten until this July. He placed 30th at 45:24 down from winner Alberto Contador in this year's edition. In the last two years he placed second and wore the leader's yellow jersey for five days in 2008.
He made amends with a third overall at the Vuelta a España, but the race came with its own disappointments. He punctured on the key mountain stage to Sierra Nevada and lost 1:26 during the wheel change.
The Worlds was one of Evans' end-of-season objectives, along with the Vuelta a España. He attacked after the winning move of nine men formed on the final lap of 19. The course in Mendrisio was three kilometres away from his European home in Stabio, Switzerland.
Evans was supported by strong teamwork from the Australian team throughout the 262.2 kilometre race. Gerrans himself capped the nation's performance with a 10th place finish. He said Evans had been confident of a good result in Switzerland.
"He said he could do it," said Gerrans. "He has been talking about the World Championships for pretty much the whole year."
Australia topped the road World Championship medal tally with two gold medals. Evans' victory on Sunday was preceded by Jack Bobridge's win in the Under-23 men's time trial last week.
For Gerrans, the World Championship road race may have been the last race of his season, which has included stage wins at the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España, and the one-day GP Plouay. Currently racing for Cervélo TestTeam, he will ride with British ProTour squad, Team Sky, in 2010.
Cadel Evans will make his race debut in the rainbow jersey at the Coppa Sabatini on October 8.
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