International Cycling

Evans to leave with no regrets

2014-09-26 07:40
Cadel Evans (AP Photo)

Ponferrada - Cadel Evans said he can walk away from cycling in February knowing he has fulfilled his potential on two wheels.

The 37-year-old Australian announced Thursday that he would put away his professional racing bike once and for all after riding in the inaugural Cadel Evans Great Ocean race on February 1 next year.

And having won the World Championships road race in 2009 and the Tour de France in 2011, he will leave the sport having triumphed in the two biggest and most prestigious races.

And even though the gritty, determined, and sometimes short-fused, rider often finished as bridesmaid, he says he will leave without any regrets.

"Certainly the 2009 World Championships win and 2011 Tour de France win are what really made my name and lifted my recognition in the sport more than it already was," he said.

"I suppose they're highlights and they're probably what I'm known for in cycling, but on a personal level I look back at my career and I'm proud of the fact that I was consistent from the start.

"I think still today I'm the youngest rider to have won a mountain bike World Cup in 1997 - I'd just turned 20 I think - and I'm the oldest post-war Tour de France winner, I think.

"That also says something for longevity but the consistency I had in between is something I look back on in my career to be proud of."

Evans started off in mountain biking, winning world championship medals at several different junior and youth levels.

He won back-to-back overall World Cup titles in 1998 and 1999 but by then he had already started to make the transition to road cycling.

Although he was seventh in mountain biking at his home Olympics in Sydney in 2000, two years later he took a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in the road timetrial.

From then on he would concentrate exclusively on the road.

Other notable victories followed such as the 2010 Fleche Wallonne, the Tour de Romandie in 2006 and 2011, the Tirreno-Adriatico in 2011 and the Criterium International a year later.

He took a lot of knocks along the way, coming second in the Tour in 2007 and 2008, having finished fourth in 2006.

He was second at La Fleche Wallonne in 2008, second at the Criterium du Dauphine four times in five years from 2007-2011, third at the Vuelta a Espana in 2009 and the 2013 Giro d'Italia.

"From a young age when I started out in cycling I wanted to step out of the sport with no regrets," added Evans.

"I wouldn't say it was initially easy to accept but when I accepted for myself that I was going to stop racing at the highest level, the reason was that I'm not going to have any regrets because I worked very hard.

"I had a fantastic opportunity to be a professional rider, I worked with some fantastic people in the sport and I think I made the most of those opportunities.

"I had a lot of second places, a lot of fourth places; over the years I made some small errors tactically or maybe in my training and preparation and so on.

"But overall I think I can go away from the sport satisfied, knowing I gave my sport everything. I gave it every opportunity to achieve, to get the most out of myself and do the maximum I could with my capacities.

"It is actually 20 years now that I've been a full-time cyclist, so I've had a good go at it."

Read more on:    cadel evans  |  cycling

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