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“Cadel taught us a lot of things we need to know particularly for grand tours. We watched him meticulously get prepared with diet, equipment, training camps, recon of the courses and motivating the other riders on the team to also pre...

Photo: Sirotti
26.09.2014 @ 14:27 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Yesterday Cadel Evans announced that his time in the professional peloton will come to an end on February 1. The 2011 Tour champion earns lots of praise for Jim Ochowicz, manager of the BMC team, who says that the Australian revolutionized their preparations for the grand tours.


In 2010 it came as a surprise to most that then world champion and former Tour de France runner-up Cadel Evans signed a contract with BMC. Back then, the American team was only riding at the professional continental level and many regarded it as a clear step down.


However, Evans proved his critics wrong. With his new team, he won the 2011 Tour de France, Fleche Wallonne, Tour de Romandie and Tirreno-Adriatico and finished second in the Giro d’Italia. Even in his final year he managed to win five races even though he didn’t manage to reach the expected level in the biggest race of his season, the Giro.


Yesterday Evans announced that he will end his career as a professional athlete on February 1. However, the Australian will leave a legacy at the BMC team that goes far beyond his time as a rider.


“I can’t speak for prior to 2010 but certainly when he joined our organization, what we thought we knew, we learned all over again,” manager Jim Ochowicz said at yesterday’s press conference. “Cadel taught us a lot of things we need to know particularly for grand tours. We watched him meticulously get prepared with diet, equipment, training camps, recon of the courses and motivating the other riders on the team to also prepare well.


“The expectations became high right from the start and we started winning immediately, with Tirreno-Adriatico, Fleche Wallonne, yellow jersey in the Tour. Those things don’t happen easily. They don’t happen to teams in their first real year at the professional level. It was a result of having Cadel as part of your organization, bringing us some leadership. Alongside George Hincapie, he made things incredibly successful in that first year. Of course next year, we won the Tour. He taught us a lot, things we can now apply to our young athletes.


“Every athlete has to decide when it’s time to stop. Those decisions are made for different reasons. Sometimes they are health-related, sometimes they are family-related, sometimes it is just time to call it quits. We support Cadel’s decision. We certainly look forward to the races that are still to come with Cadel in the team.


“It’s a long story with Cadel and me, meeting almost five years ago to the day. He had a need and I had a need. I needed to get the BMC Racing Team into the Tour de France and Cadel needed a team that believed in him. We proved that it was beneficial for both of us over the five years. Winning the 2011 Tour de France with Cadel was an incredible experience for all of us.


“As a result of this relationship, we have not only become teammates, we have become friends. That extends to [BMC owner] Andy Rihs who is not here today but is equally enthusiastic to what Cadel has done to the team and is also a close friend of Cadel’s.


“ It is a great honour to have worked with an athlete like this. The other side of this is the bridge to the future and that is what Cadel’s ambassador role will be and also with the new generation of riders coming to the BMC Racing team and having Cadel as a mentor. That will be of great benefit to the program. This doesn’t end today, it doesn’t end in January of February, this is going on for as long as we can keep it going.”


Evans will now work as a brand ambassador for BMC Switzerland.



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