Cadel Evans has dismissed as ‘unfounded rumour’ speculation he has suffered a knee injury that could threaten his – and Australia’s – Olympic Games campaign.
Evans, 31, yesterday finished second at the Tour de France for the second straight year and last night joined his Silence Lotto team mates for the traditional post-Tour dinner in Paris. He says he did stumble on a wet floor but it was no more than that.
However, he awoke this morning to a frenzy of media speculation that he had sustained an injury and may pull out of the Games. The speculation was sparked by a caller to an overnight program on a Melbourne radio station who suggested Evans was injured.
“It is a rumour, that’s all it is,” said a surprised Evans this morning after enjoying breakfast with his wife, mother and friends. “I am planning to go home to Italy later today and take my dog Molly for a walk and then go for a ride on my bike.”
Evans is also set to race in a post-Tour criterium on Tuesday before joining his team mates later this week at the pre-Beijing training camp in Varese, Italy.
Evans admits he is still ‘a bit sore’ from the effects of a crash early in this year’s Tour de France and from three weeks in the saddle covering three and a half thousand kilometres but says he believes the Tour is good preparation for Beijing.
“I think riders who haven’t done the Tour probably won’t be going as well as we who have,” said Evans who last year won the time trial at the Goodluck Beijing road cycling test event less than two weeks after the Tour de France.