Seven times a bronze or silver medallist in MTB or Under-23 World Championships events, Cadel Evans finally conquered gold just three kilometres from his adopted ‘home from home’ in southern Switzerland.
Watched by his wife Chiara, in his winner’s press conference Evans recognised that he had sometimes been demoralised by so many second and third places in his career.
“But I’ve always looked ahead at the possibility of another good result further down the line,” he added.
“I don’t know what this will mean for my country, but I’m proud to be the first ever Australian to win an elite road race in the World Championships.”
“I’ve been thinking about this race for two years, and after I wasn’t as competitive as I wanted to be in the Tour de France this summer [finishing 30th – Ed], I refocussed on the Tour of Spain and this race today.”
He recognised that Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara had played a key role in his success by toughening up the course in the final lap and a half.
“I was convinced that he would be there at the finish, I saw how he raced in Beijing [finishing third in the road-race]. I know when he’s motivated he’s always capable of springing surprises, and I worked that to my advantage.”
Asked if this was a victory for clean cycling, Evans claimed “it’s not my responsiblity to answer that.”
“I’m just thinking about the fact that people keep on saying I never win anything. Well this time I’ve won, and this isn’t a small race, either.”
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