Australian Cadel Evans, winner of the 2011 Tour de France, will retire on February 1. According to Italian paper La Gazzetta dello Sport, the 37-year-old will ride the Tour Down Under from January 17 to 25 and the Great Ocean Road Race that carries his name on February 1, and then quit cycling.
The Italian newspaper reported today that Evans will officially end his 14-year professional cycling career with the Tour Down Under and then continue to the 1.1-ranked Great Ocean Road Race near his home in Melbourne, Victoria. Afterwards, he will take on an ambassador role with his team BMC Racing.
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Evans joined BMC Racing after winning the 2009 World Championship road title near his European home in Mendrisio, Switzerland. He helped the team jump from the second to the first division ranks and led it to the 2011 Tour de France title ahead of Andy Schleck. He continued in the grand tours, this year wearing the pink jersey in the Giro d’Italia and on Sunday, finishing 52nd in the Vuelta a España.
He next races in the 2014 World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain, on September 28. Even if he were to win a second world title, his career would come to an end according to today’s article.
Evans, or ‘Cuddles’ as he is sometimes referred to, last won the Giro del Trentino in Italy on April 25 and two stages of the Tour of Utah in the USA this August. According to Pro Cycling Stats, he counts 29 road wins.
He began his road career after cycling to two mountain bike World Cup overall titles. With Mapei in 2002, he took the Giro’s leader’s pink jersey and finished 14th overall.
The Vuelta a España this month marked his 17th Grand Tour, which also included 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.
Evans raced for T-Mobile/Telekom from 2003 to 2004, Davitamon-Lotto from 2005 to 2009 and BMC from 2010. After several near misses in the Grand Tours, it clicked with him in BMC’s red and black colours.
“There’s a couple of blots – in 2004, 2012 and 2013 – but over 18 years, it’s not too bad of a career,” Evans said at the Giro d’Italia this May.
“In 2012, a virus really knocked me out. I had to take such a break to recover from that. I was more than two months off the bike, and that ruined my 2013 season.
In addition to the Tour, Evans won the 2014 Giro del Trentino, the 2012 Critérium International, the 2011 Tirreno-Adriatico, the 2006 and 2011 Tour de Romandie, and the Tour of Austria twice.
“At the age of 34, I became the oldest post-war Tour de France winner in history!” Evans told Cycling Weekly in 2011. “I am kind of proud of that.”