Evans to ride Australian national championships for first time since 2005
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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Evans to ride Australian national championships for first time since 2005

by Shane Stokes at 7:11 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, National Championships
 
Early season start should aid BMC Racing Team rider to hit peak form for Giro d’Italia

Cadel EvansAfter previously indicating that he will ride the Santos Tour Down Under as part of his buildup towards the Giro d’Italia, Cadel Evans has now committed to riding the Mars Australian road championships on January 12th.

The decision, which will see the BMC Racing Team rider compete in the race for the first time since 2005, will mark his earliest start in many seasons and shows how seriously he is taking his Giro target.

Evans was third overall in the Italian race in 2013 and, having given up on aiming for the Tour de France again, is committed to trying to win the final maglia rosa before the end of his career.

“The nationals road race presents the first genuine racing opportunity of the year,” said the 36 year old. “Provided my training form continues as planned and following a final consultation with my team, I’m looking forward to lining up on Sunday morning for a solid hit out against a quality field.”

Evans is yet to win the Australian road nationals and it is unclear if he will have the shape to be able to fight for the title in January. However he is a highly competitive rider and will unlikely commit to doing the race without believing that he can put on a strong showing.

The biggest obstacle to victory might not be his form, but rather the composition of the field.

“It’s always going to be a challenge taking on the larger teams such as Orica-GreenEdge and Drapac without my BMC team mates in support,” said Evans. “But I would expect the race to give me a good early season form guide leading into a solid block of racing over the coming months.”

The highlight of his career is undoubtedly his Tour de France title in 2011, particularly as it came after years of near misses in races such as the Tour de France and Vuelta a España. Another significant win is his 2009 world championship title.

Other victories also include Flèche Wallonne, the Tour de Romandie, Tirreno-Adriatico, the Critérium International, the Settimana Coppi e Bartali and the Tour of Austria. All together, his list of results make him the standout rider in Australian cycling history, and his addition to the lineup will be a big draw for media and spectators.

Other big names have already confirmed for the race, including Team Sky riders Richie Porte and Chris Sutton, Simon Gerrans, Luke Durbridge, Matthew Goss and Matthew Hayman of the Orica GreenEdge team plus the Garmin Sharp trio of Rohan Dennis, Steele von Hoff and Lachlan Morton.

Another big threat will be posed by the Drapac team, which will include former pro-tour riders Jonathan Cantwell, Will Clarke and Wes Sulzberger and Travis Meyer.

The 2014 MARS Cycling Australia Road National Championships will begin January 8th and run for five days.


Schedule:

Wednesday, 8 January: Time Trials, Burrumbeet:

10:30am: U23 Men’s Time Trial
12:00pm: Elite & U23 Women’s Time Trial
2:30pm: Elite Men’s Time Trial

Thursday, 9 January: Criteriums, Sturt Street, Ballarat:

4:30pm: U23 Men’s Criterium
5:30pm: Elite & U23 Women’s Criterium
7:00pm: Elite Men’s Criterium

Saturday 11 January: Road Race, Geelong Rd, Buninyong:

9:00am: U23 Men’s Road Race
1:30pm: Elite & U23 Women’s Road Race

Sunday 12 January: Road Race, Geelong Rd, Buninyong:

11:30am: Elite Men’s Road Race

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