Giro d'Italia

Disappointed by his Giro, Cadel Evans ponders his future

Italians call Evans a "cagnaccio," a fighter who never gives up. But how much longer he'll keep punching is unknown

TRIESTE, Italy (VN) — Cadel Evans remains uncertain on his future. Team BMC Racing slated him to race the Tour de Suisse this month, the Vuelta a España and the world championships. Evans, though, would not commit to anything when he ended the Giro d’Italia in eighth place on Sunday.

“My patience and tolerance are not at their greatest right now,” Evans said with a slight laugh. “They are not at their optimal levels, so let’s not think about that please.”

The 37-year-old skipped the Tour de France this year with his sights on the Giro d’Italia’s pink jersey. He wore it, leading the race for four days, but failed at reaching his larger goal: the overall win.

The Italians call him a “cagnaccio,” a fighter who never gives up. That attribute helped the Aussie win the world championships in 2009 and the Tour de France in 2011.

With the Giro d’Italia in the bag, though, one wonders how much further Evans wants to fight. The team wants him in Suisse for its sponsors and in the Vuelta for Samuel Sánchez. He could lead the national team at the worlds, but would find it difficult to win against younger competitors like John Degenkolb and Peter Sagan.

Considering Evans’ contract expires at the end of this year, followers could guess that he finished his last of his 16 grand tours in Trieste. Evans, however, was reluctant to explain his plans, though he said his eighth place would make him think about his future.

“Certainly, and for that reason, being able to prepare and to give everything here was so important. You have to look at things, but like I said, I’m not going to make any rash decisions,” he said.

BMC Racing has decided its future. Instead of racing for Evans as it has in the last four years, it wants to take 25-year-old Tejay van Garderen to the Tour.

“The team wants me to do the Giro and not the Tour, so here I am at the Giro,” Evans said on the eve of the race. “I don’t know if I’ll race the Tour again.”

Evans rode away from his rivals after a crash on the stage to Montecassino, edged his way towards the pink jersey and took it on the stage to Montecopiolo. But in the second week, he faded.

He slipped in the overall classification from second place at 37 seconds back after the Barolo time trial to eighth at 11:51. Considering he placed third overall last year and prepared all winter, he was upset.

“Of course, I am not satisfied with the result,” Evans said. “Maybe in time I will be able to appreciate the effort we made and how we rode as a team — we rode very, very well. We rode far beyond what I had hoped for and the results in the first 10 days were indicative of that.

“Of course, when we got into the third week with the mountains and that it was a different story. But that’s the way it goes.”

Evans got on his bike to start the final stage of the Giro d’Italia. Uncertain of where to go, he asked a team helper for directions. The answer about his future, however, will have to wait.