One-day races and Classics. Early in his career, he was a champion mountain biker , winning the World Cup in and and placing seventh in the men's cross-country mountain bike race at the Summer Olympics in Sydney. Evans is a four time Olympian. Evans turned to full-time road cycling in , and gradually progressed through the ranks.
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Photo: Graham Watson Cadel Evans erased a career of close calls with a daring attack on the final climb to drop a super-star group of riders to win the world road cycling championships. The Aussie climbed out of the saddle in the closing kilometers of the km epic battle to win the most important victory of his career.
People say I never win, but today I won something pretty big. He broke down in tears after winning the rainbow jersey, repeatedly kissing his wedding ring, which he hangs around his neck on a chain.
Silver is a good result on such a difficult course. The Spanish were marking me and I did what I could. I won the gold medal in the time trial and today proves to me that I am capable of winning the road title. I will keep trying. The worlds followed the script, with an early no-hope group charging away early and an interesting counter-attack with some heavy hitters like Alessandro Ballan Italy and Tom Boonen Belgium at 12 laps into the lap battle.
Things unfolded as expected when the main pack swept up the remnants of the break and the real fight began in earnest with two laps to go. The first real accelerations among the favorites fractured the main pack, with most of the big names represented in a front group of about 30 riders. Edvald Boasson Hagen Norway was among the top names to get gapped.
Cancellara put down the hammer out of the fragmented front group to bridge out to the Zaugg group, with about 30 trailing riders desperately trying to hang on.
Damiano Cunego Italy was with a nine-rider split, but refused to pull through, allowing more teammates to pull up. Pozzato and Basso turned the screws on the second climb, with Kolobnev, Cancellara and Gerrans hanging on. In their wake, Boonen popped after riding most of the stage in a breakaway.
In there for Italy were Basso, Cunego and Pozzato. Alexander Vinokourov Kazakhstan attacked on the flats, with Valverde and Arvesen marking the moves.
It all came down to the final lap. Warm skies and raucous crowds welcomed the pack for the a. Fans poured in from nearby Italy and the biggest cheers went up for the Italians and the hometown Swiss. Bruseghin led the pack across the start-finish line for six consecutive laps. In lap 12, the main bunch sprang to life when Italians Michele Scarponi and Giovanni Visconti surged out of the pack on the Acqua Fresca climb.
The main pack, with all the big guns saving their matches for the pending shootout, trailed at back. The two groups joined on lap 13, giving Italy and Belgium four riders and Spain three in the front group, with Russia and Norway leading the chase from behind. At the end of 13 laps, the dwindling lead group were still up the road at ahead of Rujano, with the Ballan-Boonen group at 20 seconds adrift. The main pack roared through at back. The Ballan-Boonen group brought the difference down to after 14 laps, with the main at back.
Nothing was decided yet. Things remained on a slow simmer. Photo: Graham Watson Vinokourov attacked again out of the elite group of 20 riders in the bell lap to hold a promising gap at the base of the Acqua Fresca climb.
Kolobnev and Hoogerland quickly bridged up, but the Russian took a huge dig, and left them in his dust. In his wake, the Italians and Spaniards were eyeing each other. Evans dug deep to grab the group just before a technical descent. Cancellara punched the accelerator on the harrowing descent to put pressure on the Spaniards and Italians.
Valverde pulled a cheeky move, attacking on the left side of the road along a divider leading into a snaking, S-turn to open a small gap. Photo: Graham Watson Then Evans gave it a dig on the final climb, dropping Kolobnev and Rodriguez, with Cunego chasing out of the favorites, who seemed to be cautiously eyeing each other up.
The two-time Tour de France runner-up Aussie powered his way up the Novazzano, whose summit was 2. Kolobnev and Rodriguez took their time in responding. The Aussie hung on to cross the line alone, with Kolobnev and Rodriguez in his wake.
Today is over and I am not going to have regrets. Meanwhile, Michael Barry Canada had an excellent performance with 18th at back.
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Cadel Evans Wins 2009 Cycling World Championships
If a GC guy is going to win a one-day race, it might as well be the big one. The world championship was in his European backyard; Cadel Evans was on roads he would conquer. The victory created history. It was a beautiful moment for cycling — one earned in style by an honest guy. The victory in Switzerland was achieved a short distance from where Cadel Evans lived at the time. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada. There was fury in each pedal stroke.
The gritty Australian shed some more of his Tour de France frustrations as he blew his rivals away with a solo break at the foot of the final climb to claim the coveted rainbow jersey in the Evans will now get to defend the world title on home soil when Melbourne and Geelong host the edition on roads he also knows well. He salvaged his season with third overall in the Tour of Spain a week ago, despite a puncture on the 13th stage and botched wheel change he believes probably cost him victory. Evans did well to join a nine-man breakaway led by time trial champion and Swiss favourite Fabian Cancellara and then launched his own attack at the foot of the Novazzano climb in the closing stages to win in six hours, 56 minutes and 26 seconds.