Evans says he may target Giro d’Italia and miss Tour de France in 2014
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Friday, August 30, 2013

Evans says he may target Giro d’Italia and miss Tour de France in 2014

by VeloNation Press at 6:39 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Giro d'Italia
 
Australian accepts he may never race the Tour again, doesn’t want to compete unless he can challenge for the win

Cadel EvansThe possibility that Cadel Evans may have competed in his final Tour de France has grown, with the Australian stating that he might miss the race altogether next season. Instead, the 36 year old former Tour winner has said that he is considering targeting the Giro d’Italia instead, having finished third overall there this year.

Evans’ Tour defence in 2012 was a disappointing one for the BMC Racing Team rider, who said that he was ill and who had to be satisfied with seventh overall. He said he was determined to return to his best this year but while he finished on the podium in the Giro, he had his worst-ever Tour result in placing only 39th overall.

Had Evans won, he would have been the oldest Tour de France winner in history. His quiet performance plus his age have helped him to realise that another Tour victory may well be beyond him at this point.

If that’s the case, he makes clear that he may not be interested in doing the race again.

“I go to the Tour for winning…and that is having the commitment of the team from day one in the season, to have them behind you and working towards the Tour,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald. “Okay, I can go to the Tour and go for stage wins, or ride for someone else; but having had the results I have had, I want to go for the win or I'd rather watch from the sidelines and put my energy into something else and go for that 100 per cent.”

The one hundred percent race may well be the Giro d’Italia, he suggests. He is yet to make a final decision but it sounds like he is leaning in that direction.

“I am still not sure yet, but there is certainly a chance that 2013 might have been my last Tour, because going for another race might be on the cards next year,” he explained. “I am going to go to the Giro presentation this year to see the [2014] course. That looks like a direction to head in.

“After all the years going for the Tour, [the idea of missing it] takes a little while getting used to. But the Giro is always a race I wanted to do and do well in. It's just a matter of changing mindset and so on. So at this point, it looks like directing my energies towards a grand tour other than the Tour de France.”

If that ends up being the case and if he can pull off a victory in the event, it would tie up the history of his career neatly. The Giro d’Italia was the first Grand Tour of the former mountainbiker’s career; when he made his debut in 2002, he took over the race lead near the end and looked to be in contention for the final victory.

However he cracked badly the following day, lost time and eventually finished fourteenth overall.

Having finished third this year despite not basing his season around the race, he believes that it is an event that he can challenge in. Providing the route looks suited to his abilities, he may well decide to focus the final year of his current contract with the BMC Racing Team around that event.

Team-mate Tejay van Garderen appears most likely to lead the squad in next year’s Tour. While he had a disappointing race this year, he was fifth overall and best young rider last year, and won both the 2013 Tour of California and the recent USA Pro Challenge.

It is unclear whether Evans is considering retirement when his BMC Racing Team contract ends next season, or if he could continue on for longer with another team.

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