Evans announces retirement

Cadel Evans (Getty Images)
Cadel Evans (Getty Images)

Ponferrada - Former Tour de France winner Cadel Evans on Thursday confirmed he will retire from cycling in February.

The 2011 Tour winner and 2009 road race world champion said his final event would be the inaugural Cadel Evans Great Ocean race on February 1.

Before then he will compete at Sunday's World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain, followed by the Tour of Lombardy a week later and January's Tour Down Under.

"Certainly in 2015 I will race for the BMC Racing Team and I will race a full season through to the first of February 2015," said the 37-year-old Australian.

"My last race in professional cycling will be the inaugural Cadel Evans Great Ocean road race."

Evans admitted it was his dip in form since winning the 2011 Tour that proved a contributing factor to his decision.

Before that he had twice finished runner-up at the Tour and earned six top-five finishes at Grand Tours.

But since that victory, his best results were a third place at the 2013 Giro d'Italia, eighth in that race this year and seventh at the 2012 Tour.

"All along I had no intention to race professionally at a high level at 40 years of age," he said.

"I never looked at age as a limiter or a factor but I just had a thing that I never wanted to be a high level racer at 40 years of age: inevitably the stop is going to come.

"Now I've come to a period in my life where I have my family at home waiting for me and sad to see me go when I come to the airport.

- Fantastic team -

"I have other things in my life this year with the team taking a little bit of a (different) direction ... and with my performances in the Giro this year, for example, where we did a fantastic preparation, a really good build up without any troubles.

He added: "I had a fantastic team around me but I wasn't close enough to the level I wanted to be and not the level the team hoped I'd be at.

"And that at least shows in the three-week races that the chance of winning another Grand Tour is probably past me.

"These things are not easy to accept but you have to. These factors on the bike, in races, within the team and your own life lead you to think 'maybe now is a good time to say thank you and I'll watch from sidelines'."

After his retirement, the Australian will become a global ambassador for his current BMC team.

BMC co-owner Jim Ochowicz said keeping Evans on in a consultancy role would be crucial to help develop the next generation of riders.

"It's a long story, Cadel and I, meeting almost five years ago to the day," he said.

"He had a need and I had a need: I needed to get the BMC Racing Team into the Tour de France and Cadel needed a team that believed in him, and we've proven that to be beneficial to the both of us over the five-year period.

"Winning the 2011 Tour de France with Cadel was an incredible experience for all of us and throughout this experience we've not only been team-mates but we've become friends.

"It's a great honour to have worked with an athlete like this.

"The other side to it is the bridge to the future which is what Cadel's ambassador role will be. So with the new generation of riders coming to BMC, having Cadel as a mentor and a role model for those athletes will be a great benefit to our programme in the future."

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