By Agence France Presse
Cadel Evans has denied he will ride in next year’s Giro d’Italia, putting him at odds with his
Silence-Lotto team, reports said.
Race organizers on Wednesday announced that the 31-year-old runner-up in the past two Tours de France was set to take on seven-time Tour champion Lance Armstrong in the Giro next May.
The race director of his Belgian team, Roberto Damiani, also said that Evans would ride in the three-week Italian stage race.
But Evans, who is currently in Australia preparing another assault on the Tour de France, on Friday denied he would be taking part.
“I didn’t announce I would be riding the Giro, the organizers did. I am not riding the Giro next year, my focus will be on winning the Tour de France in July,” Evans said, in comments carried by the Cycling Weekly site.
“They announced I would be riding because they want publicity for their race. I have never said I would ride the Giro.”
Evans said the Giro d’Italia was the furthest thing from his mind since returning to riding two weeks ago.
After a short off-season lay off, he said he has been solely focused on preparing his body for the Tour de France in July.
The report said Evans, despite signing a new two-year contract with Silence-Lotto this year, criticised the team for letting Yaroslav Popovych leave for Astana and failing to replace Bernhard Kohl after his positive test for a banned blood booster.
Evans’ presence at the 2009 Giro d’Italia has sparked a war of words with the team, it said.
The Giro will start in Venice on May 9.