Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Unsurprisingly BMC team would like Evans to win again in 2012. Nice SMH story anyway

A lot is made of Cadel's age but - despite many falls and broken bones - he's in good health and - for a cyclist especially - he's not especially old at 34. It's not swimming or gymnastics, after all. And in some ways he has also been 'saved for later' by previous teams holding him back from even starting Le Tour; it's not as though he has ridden 16 of them after all. And older, more Grand-Tour-experienced riders like Hincapie and Voigt have shown that Grand Tours can be ridden at seemingly undiminished intensity until you are 38 or 39. Perhaps older. Ekimov comes to mind, too. I guess the Armstrong example also leaps to mind, in the sense that he didn't exactly make his body - and luck - work as well in his last year as he did during his seven straight wins. But how hungry was he, really, the second time around? And what physical effects did the 'retirement' have? Cadel OTOH has not retired and returned, and has just started winning at the Grand Tour level. So his motivation is strong. Personal experience tells me that racing after 40 - even at club level - gets more complicated. But there's little difference in performance between 34 and 35, or even 39, if you maintain a decent level.

BMC chief tipping Evans to go back-to-back in 2012
Evans told his guests at a BMC team celebration dinner on Sunday night that the seed for his desire to one day win the Tour was planted when he was 14 years old. That was in 1991, when he watched Spaniard Miguel Indurain beat American Greg LeMond to win the first of his five successive titles.

''I thought, 'Hey, one day that would be nice to ride that race, wouldn't it'?'' Evans told about 300 guests. ''Many years later, and many, many months, hours and years of hard work, here I am today. Having crossed the finish line on the Champs Elysees with this jersey is really something I can't quite believe.''

BMC chief tipping Evans to go back-to-back in 2012
John Lelangue says Australian is training 'like a junior'. Rupert Guinness reports from Paris.

John Lelangue, the chief sporting director of Cadel Evans's BMC team, says the Australian Tour de France champion could top his remarkable achievement by returning to win cycling's most prestigious race for a second time next year.