Evans ambitious about first Australian road nationals participation in nine years
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Thursday, January 09, 2014

Evans ambitious about first Australian road nationals participation in nine years

by VeloNation Press at 12:17 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, National Championships
 
2011 Tour de France winner not making up numbers; will take on Porte, Gerrans, Goss and others on Sunday

Cadel EvansCadel Evans has made clear he is not simply riding Sunday’s Australian road race championships to build his condition, but rather believes he has the form to be in with a chance for a medal if things go to plan.

The 2011 Tour de France winner has worked hard to be in form earlier than usual this year, with May’s Giro d’Italia being both a motivator and also his main season target.

“My training has been very focused in the last few weeks and I feel that I’m at a level that should hopefully enable me to be competitive on Sunday,” said the BMC Racing Team rider, who has not competed in the race since 2005.

“I know it’s going to be hard work going up against the larger teams, but it will be interesting to see how the race unfolds. I’m looking forward to a good, solid hit out.”

The organisers have confirmed that this year’s lineup is the strongest ever. In addition to a very strong Orica GreenEdge team, which includes past champions Simon Gerrans and Luke Durbridge, as well as Simon Clarke, Matthew Goss and Matthew Hayman, the field will also include Garmin-Sharp’s Rohan Dennis, Lachlan Morton and Steele von Hoff, who won the national criterium championship on Thursday.

Other riders who will be part of the 150-strong field and who are expected to draw record crowds are Giro contender and 2013 Paris-Nice winner Richie Porte, his Sky team-mate Nathan Earle, plus Drapac’s Jonathon Cantwell, Will Clarke and Jack Anderson.

The time trial championships were held on Wednesday, with a report available here. On Thursday the national criterium championships then followed [click on this link to see a highlights video, plus a report and results].

The women and under 23 riders will slug it out for their road titles on Saturday, then Evans, Porte, Gerrans and the other elite male riders will square up against each other over 183.6 kilometres on Sunday. They will compete over 18 laps of a tough 10.2 kilometre lap of the Buninyong circuit.

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