Evans may retire at end of 2014, says Oman could be first race this season
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Monday, January 07, 2013

Evans may retire at end of 2014, says Oman could be first race this season

by VeloNation Press at 7:25 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Australian unsure about how his system will respond to racing

Cadel EvansSet to turn 36 years of age in February, Cadel Evans has conceded that his career may be approaching a end and that he could hang up his racing bike in two years’ time.

“I am not sure I will be racing after 2014 because it is still a long way off,” the Australian told Fairfax Media. “At this point, I am focused on a good 2013 Tour. Afterwards, let's see what happens.”

Evans took the biggest victory of his career in 2011 when he won the Tour de France, but had a confidence-shaking 2012 season due to health issues. He appeared off his usual form at times, having quiet displays in some races that he had won one year earlier, the Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour de Romandie, but did win the Critérium International and was third in the Critérium du Dauphiné.

The latter two performances gave him some optimism that he could challenge for another Tour de France title, but instead he suffered from stomach issues in the race and had to accept seventh overall. He ended up calling an early end to his season in order to get over what his BMC Racing Team doctor Max Testa said was likely a low grade infection.

He spoke about the issue last August. “Despite his usual full commitment and attention to training, Cadel has been experiencing unusual up and downs on his performance,” said Testa. “Getting him back to full health and to his physiological standard of performance is a priority for the BMC Racing Team.”

Evans underwent tests in Milan and subsequently confirmed that his season was at an end. “I'm disappointed surely, but in the end, there's nothing I can do,” he explained on September 4th. “I wanted to come back and race this year but it could possibly compromise my 2013. At this point, we can't afford to do that. So I'll completely recover and do what I can to be back to my normal level next year.”

Now, four months later, he’s decided which races to compete in. One of the races he is considering is an event that former Tour winner Alberto Contador is also planning to ride.

“I [may] start at the Tour of Oman [February 12-17 - ed],” he told Fairfax, “or some of the smaller one-day races in Italy. Because of the health issues I had last year, I have to see how my body responds to heavy training and racing before I can be sure.”

However he rules out taking on Contador as a target in itself. “If Alberto and I both start in Oman, I think we will both be riding our own races in accordance with our preparation for the season,” he said, reasoning that the season is long and their main goal – the Tour de France – is still several months away.

Rather than getting caught up in an early psychological battle, he knows the important thing is to concentrate on his own form and build-up rather than that of his rivals.

Looking back at last year, he also indicated the adoption of his child Robel as being something he had to adjust to. Describing it as ‘probably one of the biggest experiences in our lives,’ he said that he believed he and his wife are adapting to the changes and that things are becoming more straightforward now.

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