Tour de France champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) will make his season debut at the Mallorca Challenge in Spain in February, taking a pass on the WorldTour season opener at the Tour Down Under in January.
Evans’ BMC squad confirmed its seven-man roster for the Tour Down Under January 15-22, but Evans will attend a team camp in Spain during that time and then race the five-day Mallorca Challenge to open his 2012 season.
TDU race director Mike Turtur told The Australian newspaper that they didn’t expect to see Evans at this year’s edition.
“We were hopeful that he may have done what he did for us in 2010, which was terrific,” Turtur said. “I guess in the back of my mind, it was always going to be a big call. I have to respect what Cadel’s thoughts are and I suspect if I was in his shoes, I most probably would’ve done exactly the same thing.”
Evans last raced the Tour Down Under in 2010, just months after winning the world championship. Last year, Evans also skipped the Australian race to focus on the Tour.
BMC will bring such riders as Greg Van Avermaet and Alessandro Ballan to the Australian race instead.
Brent Bookwalter and Tejay Van Garderen are set to join Evans in Mallorca for the February 5-9 race.