Cadel Evans to ride the 2014 Tour Down Under
The South Australian Government has confirmed Champion Australian cyclist and 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans will compete in the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under. It will be the first time Cadel has returned to Adelaide since he won the largest cycling race in the world.
Tourism Minister, Leon Bignell, says the announcement by Cadel’s BMC racing team is great news for next year’s race and will encourage cycling fans to come out in full force to see him. “He is synonymous with Australian road cycling and having him here will create even more interest in this fantastic international event,” Mr Bignell said.
“The Santos Tour Down Under provides a $43 million boost to South Australia economy each year and Cadel’s appearance will no doubt help to increase these numbers. “Each Year 40,000 visitors come from interstate or overseas to watch the Tour. “Cadel is a crowd favourite and we are all very proud of his achievements so it will be great to welcome him back to South Australia and the Santos Tour Down Under.
Cadel has competed in eight Santos Tour Down Under races, most recently in 2010. He won the Škoda King of the Mountain jersey in 2002 and 2006 as well as the Young Rider jersey in 1999. Cadel says he has set his sights on a 2014 Giro d’Italia victory, so his preparations will start in South Australia. "With my focus on the Giro d'Italia, everything comes earlier in the year,” Cadel said. “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. “I haven't been able to race there since 2010 because I've always been working toward the Tour de France. “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."
Santos Tour Down Under Race Director, Mike Turtur, says it is a major coup for the event and Australian cycling fans that the 2009 World Road Champion will compete in Adelaide in January. “This will be the first time that Australian cycling fans have seen Cadel race on home soil since his historic 2011 Tour de France win,” Mr Turtur said. "He's one of our greatest riders of all time, our only Tour de France winner and road world champion. I've always admired his respect and commitment to the sport and his total commitment to suffer during races."
The full BMC Racing Team roster for the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under will be announced in the coming months. The 2014 Santos Tour Down Under will be held in and around Adelaide from 19-26 January 2014.