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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion
Friday, September 26, 2014

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Cadel Evans Retirement Statement

Cadel Evans held a news conference today with BMC team Boss Jim Ochowicz to talk about Evans' upcoming retirement. This statement came from BMC:

Cadel Evans will compete for the BMC Racing Team at the start of the 2015 season before transitioning into a brand ambassador role for the team's title sponsor, BMC Switzerland. The news was shared Thursday during a press conference at the UCI road world championships in Spain.

Winner of the 2009 world road title and the 2011 Tour de France, Evans said the final race of his career will be the inaugural edition of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. The one-day race on Feb. 1 will cap a professional career on the road that formally began in 2001 after racing mountain bikes in the mid to late 90s. His final race of this season will be Il Lombardia on Oct. 5. "I feel it is the right time to end my journey in competitive professional cycling," Evans said. "It has been the journey of more than a lifetime, something I could never have envisioned when first experiencing the joy of riding a bike on the dirt roads of Bamylli (Barunga) in the Northern Territory. It is amazing how far two wheels can take a person." Speaking to reporters gathered in the media center in Ponferrada, Evans shared his appreciation and thanks to the countless people who have helped him along the way: family and friends, coaches and mentors, teams and teammates, sponsors, and fans around the world. "A special thank you goes to my current and final team," Evans said. "And to the many fans and people around the world who just enjoy riding a bike. Thank you – and keep riding."

Cadel Evans

Cadel Evans in yellow during the 2011 Tour de France final stage. Overall second place Andy Schleck is on his wheel. Photo ©Sirotti

Ochowicz said it will be a big change not to have Evans competing for the BMC Racing Team. Evans's five victories this season match his career-high win total (from 2011) and include a pair of stage wins at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah last month and the overall title at the Giro del Trentino in April. He was also a stage winner and overall runner-up in January at the Santos Tour Down Under and runner-up at the Australian national road championships. "It is going to be a big change for us not to have Cadel racing with the team after his last race in Australia next year," Ochowicz said. "We will miss his leadership and the high level experience and performance he brought to the BMC Racing Team. Both Andy Rihs (BMC Racing Team sponsor) and I extend our thanks to Cadel for all he has done for the team and look forward to continuing our work together with him into the future through his role as an ambassador for BMC Switzerland."

Ochowicz said a victory by Evans in Sunday's world championship road race might change the plans. "I hope he wins," Ochowicz said. "Of course, if he does, we will have to have another discussion on what the future looks like. Certainly, being world champion does have some issues that need to be discussed. But it is a good problem to have."

Ochowicz thanked Evans for his contributions that began with his signing for the 2010 season. "When Cadel started with us, we were basically a pro continental team just getting off the ground," Ochowicz said. "He brought a whole new level of expectations and experience and that we lacked. Over time, we worked well together and were able to create some very dynamic moments over the years, particularly the 2011 Tour de France that brought us a place in the history books we will all be proud of the rest of our lives."

Evans said he looks forward to his new role with BMC Switzerland after he pins on his final race number next February. "For me this is not the end, but the beginning of a new chapter of my life in cycling," he said. Rihs said the opportunity to have Evans serve as a global brand ambassador was one the company could not pass up. "This relationship provides the chance for Cadel to achieve a new level of exposure for the sport of cycling, for those considering the sport, and for riders-to-be," Rihs said. "This partnership is an investment in the future of the sport we love and an opportunity for riders around the world to maintain a relationship with a truly admirable figure in our sport."

Rihs said Evans has made a significant contributing in the areas of product development and establishing the premium identity of the BMC brand, particularly through his Tour de France victory. "Cadel’s unique ability to understand the performance and ride characteristics of bicycle design has long proven beneficial to the development cycles of BMC products, as is the case with the current Teammachine SLR series."

Cadel Evans and Jim Ochowicz

Cadel Evans and Jim Ochowicz at their press conference. Photo ©Sirotti

Johan van Summeren to Ag2r

The Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad reports that 2011 Paris-Roubaix winner Johan van Summeren will move from Garmin-Sharp to Ag2r-La Mondiale in 2015.

Johan van Summeren

Johan van Summeren with his 2011 Paris-Roubaix trophy. Photo ©Sirotti

Tinkoff-Saxo Riders Discuss Road Race World Championships

Tinkoff-Saxo sent out a couple of releases about the Sunday's Elite Men's World Road Race Championships.

Rory Sutherland explains why the race is so unpredictable:

The World Championship Road Race is two days away and the riders have entered the final phase of preparations together with their national teams. Tinkoff-Saxo’s Rory Sutherland represents Australia on Sunday in, what he calls, a completely different race: “The World Championship has its own special nature and dynamics. Our teammates are suddenly our rivals and we find ourselves racing on a completely new team. It’s naturally a great honor to race together with our countrymen but that is what makes the World Championship so unpredictable. Which teams take responsibility, who does what? All the questions, which are more easily answered in a normal race, are suddenly unclear to everybody”, explains Rory Sutherland.

The World Championship is, according to the 32-year old Australian, similar to a one-day classic in many ways. Still, it’s impossible to compare them. “Sunday’s race is quite similar to big monuments like Milan - San Remo but yet they're incomparable. The World Championship is an open book with a new route and new favorites every year. And the winner will get to wear a jersey saying he’s the best for a whole year. But I won’t say that it’s more prestigious”, Sutherland adds.

The fight for the rainbow jersey starts in less then 48 hours giving the national teams a final chance to prepare. Yesterday, Rory went on the parcours together with his teammates to inspect the conditions and different sections. “Today, I’m heading out with the entire team to give the legs a spin before resting. I’ll have the same role as on Tinkoff-Saxo, supporting the team captains such as Gerrans and Matthews. I think they’re able to fight for the win or a place on the podium on a route like this thanks to their strong finish. We have a team in good shape and it’s a big honor to be one of the biggest nations with 9 riders starting”.

“I’m in good shape as well. Actually, I feel stronger than most of the year and my preparations and races leading up to this Sunday have been increasingly successful. Tour of Britain went well and I finished 5th in GP Wallonie together with some big names. But the 255 kilometers we’ll ride on Sunday will be something different”, Rory Sutherland concludes.

Rory Sutherland

Rory Sutherland finishes stage 5 of the 2014 Tour Down Under. Photo ©Sirotti

And this from Chris Anker Sorensen:

Having just completed the Vuelta a Espana as a supporting rider for Alberto Contador, Chris Anker Sørensen has enjoyed a few weeks of recovery and is now back on track to participate in the road race World Championships on Sunday.

“I’m really looking forward to the World Championships, It’s always an honor to be wearing the red and white jersey. I feel well-recovered after the Vuelta and am physically in good form, says Sørensen.

The World Championship circuit in Ponferrada, Spain is not the most demanding and mountainous but Sørensen has a good feeling about it nevertheless and he predicts a rather open finale: “The course doesn’t seem as hard as other years and reminds me of the course from the World Championships in Australia a few years back where I did pretty well. I reckon a group of about 40 riders will be fighting it out on the finish line and Matti (Breschel) will be our guy for the sprint”, concludes 30-year-old Chris Anker Sørensen.

The World Championship course covers 254.8 kilometers on a circuit in and around the city of Ponferrada. The other Danish riders are all Tinkoff-Saxo: Matti Breschel, Michael Valgren, Chris Juul-Jensen, Nicki Sørensen and Michael Mørkøv.

Chris Anker Sorensen

Chris Anker Sorensen finishes the 2013 Giro dell'Emilia. Photo ©Sirotti

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