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"I feel it is the right time to end my journey in competitive professional cycling. It has been the journey of more than a lifetime, something I could never have envisioned when first experiencing the joy of riding a bike on the dirt r...

Photo: Sirotti
25.09.2014 @ 19:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Cadel Evans has announced his retirement at a press conference held in conjunction with the World Championships in Ponferrada. The Australian will do his last race in Australia in February before transitioning into a brand ambassador role for BMC.

 

Cadel Evans will compete for the BMC Racing Team at the start of the 2015 season before transitioning into a brand ambassador role for the team's title sponsor, BMC Switzerland. The news was shared Thursday during a press conference at the UCI road world championships in Spain.

Winner of the 2009 world road title and the 2011 Tour de France, Evans said the final race of his career will be the inaugural edition of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. The one-day race on Feb. 1 will cap a professional career on the road that formally began in 2001 after racing mountain bikes in the mid to late 90s. His final race of this season will be Il Lombardia on Oct. 5.

 

"I feel it is the right time to end my journey in competitive professional cycling," Evans said. "It has been the journey of more than a lifetime, something I could never have envisioned when first experiencing the joy of riding a bike on the dirt roads of Bamylli (Barunga) in the Northern Territory. It is amazing how far two wheels can take a person."

 

Speaking to reporters gathered in the media center in Ponferrada, Evans shared his appreciation and thanks to the countless people who have helped him along the way: family and friends, coaches and mentors, teams and teammates, sponsors, and fans around the world.

 

"A special thank you goes to my current and final team," Evans said. "And to the many fans and people around the world who just enjoy riding a bike. Thank you – and keep riding."

Ochowicz said it will be a big change not to have Evans competing for the BMC Racing Team. Evans's five victories this season match his career-high win total (from 2011) and include a pair of stage wins at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah last month and the overall title at the Giro del Trentino in April. He was also a stage winner and overall runner-up in January at the Santos Tour Down Under and runner-up at the Australian national road championships.

 

"It is going to be a big change for us not to have Cadel racing with the team after his last race in Australia next year," Ochowicz said. "We will miss his leadership and the high level experience and performance he brought to the BMC Racing Team. Both Andy Rihs (BMC Racing Team sponsor) and I extend our thanks to Cadel for all he has done for the team and look forward to continuing our work together with him into the future through his role as an ambassador for BMC Switzerland."

 

Ochowicz said a victory by Evans in Sunday's world championship road race might change the plans.

 

"I hope he wins," Ochowicz said. "Of course, if he does, we will have to have another discussion on what the future looks like. Certainly, being world champion does have some issues that need to be discussed. But it is a good problem to have."

 

Ochowicz thanked Evans for his contributions that began with his signing for the 2010 season.

 

"When Cadel started with us, we were basically a pro continental team just getting off the ground," Ochowicz said. "He brought a whole new level of expectations and experience and that we lacked. Over time, we worked well together and were able to create some very dynamic moments over the years, particularly the 2011 Tour de France that brought us a place in the history books we will all be proud of the rest of our lives."

Evans said he looks forward to his new role with BMC Switzerland after he pins on his final race number next February.

 

"For me this is not the end, but the beginning of a new chapter of my life in cycling," he said.

 

Rihs said the opportunity to have Evans serve as a global brand ambassador was one the company could not pass up.

 

"This relationship provides the chance for Cadel to achieve a new level of exposure for the sport of cycling, for those considering the sport, and for riders-to-be," Rihs said. "This partnership is an investment in the future of the sport we love and an opportunity for riders around the world to maintain a relationship with a truly admirable figure in our sport."

 

Rihs said Evans has made a significant contributing in the areas of product development and establishing the premium identity of the BMC brand, particularly through his Tour de France victory.

 

"Cadel’s unique ability to understand the performance and ride characteristics of bicycle design has long proven beneficial to the development cycles of BMC products, as is the case with the current Teammachine SLR series."

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