SYDNEY (AFP) ─ Tour de France champion Cadel Evans would love to ride for Australia at the London Olympics, but only if the course is tough enough.
The 34-year-old Evans fulfilled his lifelong quest by securing the Tour de France title on Sunday in a victory celebrated as one of Australia’s finest sporting achievements.
Already a three-time Olympian, Evans would be a major draw at London 2012 if he makes the team.
A key issue is whether the road race and time trial courses will be challenging enough to suit his strengths.
“To be honest, I don’t know if the course is going to be suitable,” Evans told Australian Associated Press from his base in Switzerland.
“But if I can be the man for the job to represent the country, of course I would love to ride. If it’s a course more suitable to someone else, then it should be for someone else.”
The Olympic road events come just days after Evans is set to complete his Tour de France title defense, but he said that wasn’t a problem.
“The timing falls well for us as Tour riders ─ there’s also an interesting world championships course in 2012 and a few other things,” he said. “We have to prioritize and choose our goals, but Tour de France 2012 is going to come around really quickly.”
Evans started his career as a cross country cyclist, finishing ninth in the mountain bike race at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and seventh at the 2000 Sydney Games.
He then switched disciplines at the Beijing Games in 2008, finishing 15th in the road race, won by this year’s Tour de France King of the Mountains Samuel Sanchez. Evans then placed fifth in the time trial.