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The International Cycling Union (UCI) on Saturday confirmed it has granted Australia a second starting place in the men’s Olympic road time trial with Cycling Australia saying it had gratefully
accepted following discussions with the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC).
Cadel Evans was originally down as the sole Aussie rider but then withdrew last Tuesday because of a knee injury, ceding his berth to three-time world champion, Michael Rogers.
A Cycling Australia statement revealed Evans had received a call midweek from National Performance Director Shayne Bannan notifying him of the wildcard offer.
“Shayne Bannan called me with the news and I was on the table getting treatment with my knee all bandaged up in ice and an electro-stimulator attached and he said ‘we’ve got that second place’. I looked at my swollen knee and thought ‘oh good for you’,” said Evans.
Cycling Australia quoted Evans as saying he would look to see how his fitness panned out regarding the road race.
“Then beyond that — for me to go and start the time trial I’d have to have a pretty stellar ride in the road race.
“Every day I’m doing the physio and treatment on my knee and every day getting better but we’ll decide on Monday morning whether I go or Adam Hansen goes in my place.
“I don’t want to go unless I can do a good result for myself and the team or contribute to a good result for the team so if I don’t recover from my injury and am not close to my best I don’t mind staying at home.”
According to Bannan, a series of tests run on Evans Saturday indicate his knee is improving.
“Treatment on Cadel’s knee has been going well and we’re hopeful that on Monday he’ll get the all clear to fly to Beijing,” said Bannan.
“Considering the progress of his recovery we’re optimistic that he can back up after the road race and give the time trial a decent go.”