Evans on Hushovd: Australian says he doesn’t want to 'ride with a sprinter' in next year’s Tour
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Friday, August 12, 2011

Evans on Hushovd: Australian says he doesn’t want to 'ride with a sprinter' in next year’s Tour

by Shane Stokes at 7:18 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Clarification of remarks to be sought

Cadel EvansSpeaking during a crowd-thronged celebratory homecoming in Melbourne, Tour de France champion Cadel Evans has suggested that he won’t work with world champ Thor Hushovd during next year’s race.

The comments are likely to cause concern to Hushovd’s fans, although they don’t necessarily mean that the Norwegian won’t be able to compete in the Tour. Further clarification will be sought as to the specifics of what Evans meant.

“Regarding Thor coming to the team, the main objective of (team president) Jim Ochowicz was to get some guys onto the team to get some results early so they wouldn't rely just on me for race wins at the start of the year," he stated, according to Reuters.

“I said: 'Look Jim, you want to bring a sprinter to the team, I don't want to ride with a sprinter, because I've done that and I've done my share. 'If I do the Tour I want to do it for the win.'

“I was fairly clear about that and Jim was accepting of that, so it's under that basis that Thor comes to our team.”

While Evans’ remarks have been interpreted by some as meaning Hushovd will miss next year’s race, it is also possible that he means the Norwegian will have to act without much dedicated team support. Evans will want to keep his backup riders fresh in order to aid him where needed.

Hushovd took two stage wins during this year’s Tour, both of them from breakaways. He previously won stages in bunch gallops but appears to be changing his approach as he ages.

Evans previously finished second twice in the race. The 34 year old stepped up a level this season, beating Andy and Frank Schleck (Leopard Trek) to become the oldest winner in 88 years.

VeloNation is seeking clarification of Evans' remarks from the BMC Racing Team.

Hushovd is competing this year as part of the Garmin-Cervélo team. He’s known to have been frustrated at sharing the billing with the team’s other top riders. However there’s little overlap between his and Evans’ abilities, making it possible that they could co-exist well.

There's more similarities between Hushovd and Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma Lotto), who is thought likely to join the team in 2012.

Also see: BMC Racing Team president Jim Ochowicz responds

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