Tour de France champion Cadel Evans on Wednesday gave Australian Olympic selectors an early season reminder of his ambitions for 2012: to win time trial gold in London.
Evans has twice made history for Australia in recent years, claiming gold at the world road race championships in 2009 and becoming the first Australian winner of the Tour’s coveted yellow jersey in 2011.
However the 34-year-old suggested Australian Olympic bosses could end his time trial gold medal hopes by including him on their Olympic road race team. In that case, he would work as a key support man for Milan-San Remo champion Matt Goss, who is well-suited to the Olympic road race course.
Evans, who rides for the BMC team, was Australia’s top finisher, in fifth, at the Olympic time trial in Beijing. And while he said he would “give 100 percent” to whichever Olympic event he is part of this August, he would much prefer a solo shot at a medal he has yet to add to his collection.
“From what I understand they (the selectors) want to have me in the road race,” Evans said in an interview with media at the Tour Down Under via Skype. “The time trial, I don’t really know about. Certainly, I’d love to be there and do what I can and hopefully go for a top result.
“The road race course, I think, is more suited to someone like Matt Goss, and I’m 100 percent behind the team.”
The Olympic time trial will be held on August 1, four days after the men’s road race and just over a week after the end of the Tour de France.
Evans believes he would emerge in prime condition to take a shot at the Olympic time trial crown, currently held by Swiss specialist Fabian Cancellara.
“I think I could do a good time trial there – especially considering the timing of the Olympics,” he said
“I’ve been in contention for the medals before, but fifth in the time trial in Beijing is not a medal and so I want to give myself every chance to go for another medal because it’s something I don’t have.”
Evans, currently at a training camp in Spain, sealed his maiden Tour de France crown thanks to a stunning solo ride against the clock on the penultimate stage of the race last year.
But whether he is selected for the time trial or not, he said he will give it everything to help Australia succeed.
“I work towards the Tour from now until the Tour, but the day it finishes I work 100 percent for the Olympics. My motivation is there, as it would be for the yellow jersey.”