Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) will retire in 2015, on February 1, after racing in the Great Ocean Race in Melbourne Australia.
The 37-year-old Australian who won the 2011 Tour de France announced his decision at a press conference in Ponferrada, Spain, where the 2014 World Championship road race will run on Sunday.
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“People asked me often what I would do after I stop, but I always put it aside to concentrate on being an athlete at a high level,” said Evans.
“I knew I’d not be racing at 40, I had it in my mind that I’d never want to race at the high level at 40, I knew that I’d be before 40 years old that I’d stop, and now I’m at that period.”
Evans, whose greatest wins include the 2011 Tour and 2009 Worlds in Mendrisio, explained that the next period will see him working as an ambassador in the BMC Racing team. He will mentor young riders in BMC’s black and red colours and help with equipment development.
“As I said in 2009, part of the reason I joined BMC Racing was to have a future in the sport after racing,” Evans added.
“I have experience as a rider, but not as retiring and going on. I went to [team owner] Andy Rihs for advice and he gave me the idea. It’s not a normal job I’d say, but another professional life that I have knowledge in. I’ve gained a lot in 20 years of racing, but I don’t have a university degree to take other work.”
Evans’ 20 years include two mountain bike World Cup overall titles and over 10 years racing as a professional road cyclist. With team Mapei in 2002, he took the Giro’s leader’s pink jersey and finished 14th overall. He continued consistently from there with teams T-Mobile/Telecom (2003 to 2004) and Davitamon-Lotto (2005 to 2009).
He raced in 17 Grand Tours, which along with his 2011 Tour win include two second places in the Tour de France – behind Alberto Contador in 2007 and Carlos Sastre in 2008 – third in the Giro d’Italia and third in the Vuelta a España.
“Certainly the 2009 World Championship and 2011 Tour de France wins were what really lifted my name and my recognition in the sport. They are highlights and what I’m known for in cycling,” Evans said.
“I was consistent from the start. I am the oldest post-war Tour de France winner, I’m proud of that, my longevity. I wanted to leave the sport without any regrets. I had a lot of second and fourth places over the years, I made some small training or tactical mistakes, but on the overall, I can go away on February satisfied and know I gave my sport everything.”
Evans will race the World Championship road race on Sunday with team Australia and perhaps the Giro di Lombardia. In 2015, he will only compete in the Tour Down Under from January 17 to 25 and the Great Ocean Road Race on February 1.
“I was second by one second this year, narrow than that I don’t remember,” Evans said of the Tour Down Under. “I am going to race those races with all I have and prepare the best I have to be as best as possible.”
Australian Cadel Evans will call time on his illustrious cycling career after his 'home' tour in February 2015