Cadel Evans will take part in Australia’s Tour Down Under in Adelaide for the first time in four years in January, race organizers said on Saturday. It will be the first time Evans, 36, has competed in his home tour and UCI World Tour event since he won the Tour de France in 2011. Evans, who will race for the BMC Racing Team, said he has set his sights on next year’s Giro d’Italia and is using the Tour Down Under as preparation.
“With my focus on the Giro d’Italia, everything comes earlier in the year,” Evans said in a statement. “There is also the team’s desire to get the season off to a good start. I think with a bit harder course this year, it would be realistic to go for the overall win.”
Evans has competed in eight Tour Down Under races, with his last appearance in 2010.
“I haven’t been able to race there (Adelaide) since 2010 because I’ve always been working toward the Tour de France,” he said. “But with me going for the Giro, it gives me the opportunity to race in Australia and at the race which has become the real season start and the meeting point for the world of cycling at the beginning of the year. So it will be something special, especially racing in front of the home crowd.”
Race Director Mike Turtur said it was a major coup to have the 2009 world road champion compete in Adelaide from January 19-26. “He’s one of our greatest riders of all time, our only Tour de France winner and road world champion,” he said.
The full BMC Racing Team roster for the 2014 Tour Down Under is to be announced later.