Australia’s most successful road cyclist, Cadel Evans, who won the 2009 world road title and the 2011 Tour de France – the only Aussie to do it – will retire next year.
His final race will be in Australia on February 1, 2015, in the one-day Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
“I feel it is the right time to end my journey in competitive professional cycling,” Evans said in a press conference with his team, BMC Racing, in Europe overnight.
Evans will become a brand ambassador role for the team’s title sponsor, BMC Switzerland.
“For me this is not the end, but the beginning of a new chapter of my life in cycling,” he said.
His retirement will end a 14-year professional career for Northern Territory-born Evans that began in 2001. His final race of this season will be Il Lombardia on Oct. 5 and he will also compete in the Santos Tour Down Under as his penultimate race and the best chance for his Aussie fans to say goodbye.
He leaves still in top form, having matched his 2011 career-high of five wins during 2014, but the 37-year-old concedes his chances of winning another grand tour are beginning to fade.
Here’s what Cadel said in announcing his retirement:
Yes it is true. After a long period of contemplation within, and with those closest to me, I feel it is the right time to end my journey in competitive professional cycling. It has been the journey of more than a lifetime, something I could never have envisaged when first experiencing the joy of riding a bike on the dirt roads of Bamylli (Barunga) in the Northern Territory. It’s amazing how far two wheels can take a person!
There will be more to come in time, but for now I would like to thank some people. To my family and friends who mean the world to me, thank you. The coaches I have been fortunate enough to work with, thank you. To the teams I have represented and the team mates I have ridden against and trained alongside, thank you. A special thank you to my current and final team, BMC. We believed in each other and consequently conquered the Tour.
To my mentors who know who they are, thank you. To my sponsors who believed in me and supported me through the good and the bad times, thank you. And to the many fans and people around the world who just enjoy riding a bike. Thank you and keep riding.
For me this is not the end, but the beginning of a new chapter of my life in cycling. And yes I still have some big races to ride in from Sunday’s Menâ’s Road World Championships for Australia to the inaugural Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on February 1, 2015 where I will sign-off on my professional cycling journey. I hope to see you there.
Once more, thank you. It has been an honour and a privilege.