Giro finish will frame future: Cadel

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Cadel Evans will wait until after this year’s Giro d’Italia before Australia’s greatest cyclist even thinks about the next step in his career.


Whatever is coming, retirement for now is the last thing on Evans’ mind.

Evans turns 37 on February 14 and is entering a new phase that will probably no longer feature the Tour de France.

His storming ride at last week’s Australian road championships, where he finished second, showed the 2011 Tour de France winner is finally back on track after two frustrating seasons.

He is the star attraction at Adelaide’s Tour Down Under, which starts on Tuesday in the Barossa.

Asked about the rest of his career, Evans said: “I’m trying not to (think about it) – I’d like to do a good Giro and then use that as an indicator for the future.

“My main thing is to get back to my top level, whether that’s 2011 level or even one or two per cent less.

“Then I (will) make assessments on the future on that.”

Having done so much in his career, especially the 2011 Tour title and the 2009 world road championship, Evans wants to stop competing at the right time.

“I wouldn’t want to retire early, thinking six months down the track ‘I think I could be at the front, beating those guys’,” he said.

“You don’t want to cut yourself short, but of course you don’t want to be trying to squeeze out any more than what is actually there.”

Asked if he might have raced the Tour for the last time, Evans replied: “it’s possible”.

Evans will miss the Tour this year for the first time since 2005.

Illness sapped him of top form through 2012 and he finished seventh in his Tour title defence.

He started last season slowly as well and his BMC team radically changed his racing program.

The experiment worked initially, with Evans’ third place at the Giro (Tour of Italy) the best Australian result at that race.

But he was cooked by the Tour two months later and had his worst result of 39th.

Evans admitted his team advised him not to do the Tour this year and focus on the Giro in May instead.

“That’s probably a good thing, because I’m probably too emotionally attached to these things sometimes to make rational decisions,” he said.

Evans was pleased with his ride at the national championships, but admitted immediately after the race he was disappointed to finish second behind Orica-GreenEDGE star Simon Gerrans.

“Coming second is actually a good kick in the bum sometimes,” Evans said on Monday.

“I’ve had a long career – it motivates you.”

Evans, Gerrans and Sky rider Richie Porte, who finished third at the nationals, are the three Australians to beat at the Tour Down Under.

Evans’s revamped race schedule means he is racing at the Adelaide race for the first time since 2010.

After several days of concerns about nearby bushfires, race organisers have confirmed the opening stage will go ahead as planned.

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