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Cadel Evans basked in the spotlight throughout his victory tour. (Rupert Guinness photo.)
Cadel Evans basked in the spotlight throughout his victory tour. (Rupert Guinness photo.)

Evans Looks Ahead To Colorado Race

13. August 2011

Melbourne, Australia

As the BMC Racing Team's Tour de France champion Cadel Evans prepared to leave Australia and continue his racing season in the United States in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, he warned against expecting too much in his first match-up against Andy Schleck and brother, Frank, since winning the world's greatest bicycle race last month.

Evans, due to fly out of Melbourne on Sunday to join the BMC Racing Team after it wraps up the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, plans to spend next week training at high altitude in readiness for the new stage race that starts Aug. 22 in Colorado Springs, Colo., and finishes in Denver Aug. 28.

Andy Schleck, who was second overall to Evans in the Tour that ended on July 24, and Frank, who was third, are also down to race for their Luxembourg Leopard Trek team in the first-year event.

Evans is looking forward to riding again after his spectacular return home that began on Thursday and was highlighted on Friday when an estimated 25,000 people flock to the streets of Melbourne to cheer him through a one kilometer victory parade in Melbourne down St Kilda Road and to Federation Square.

On Saturday, after also attending a civic reception on Friday night, Evans was still trying to absorb the incredible ovation that Australians gave him. While Melbourne hosted the parade, it was telecast live nationally on all the commercial free television networks and made front page news across the country.

But on Friday in his official press conference, he remained guarded when asked about how strong a performance he expects from himself in Colorado.

"I've been flying via Australia and this and that," he said. "I may be OK there, I may be really bad there. I'm not going to put too much pressure on myself or place any expectations on a result in Colorado."

However, Evans did say that he was looking forward to rejoining his BMC Racing Team teammates who played such an integral role in helping him become Australia's first Tour champion.

Evans spent his last day in Australia with family and close friends. Included in his wish list of things to do was a session on the indoor rollers in his hotel suite.

However, while his body may need some solid kilometers of training in the U.S. next week to determine how strong a ride he can produce in Colorado, rest assured his mind is already focused on his Tour defense next year.

By Rupert Guinness of The Sydney Morning Herald.