Evans committed to ride through 2013

Tour champ is not looking beyond the 100th edition of the Tour de France in 2013

BOURG EN BRESSE, France (AFP) — Tour de France champion Cadel Evans said he will keep on racing at least until the end of next season, according to a report Thursday.

BMC team leader Evans is currently racing the Critérium du Dauphiné, a major tune-up for the Tour de France, ahead of undertaking the defense of his yellow jersey title between June 30-July 22.

But the 35-year-old Australian won’t look further ahead than the 2013 Tour, the 100th edition, which will start on the idyllic French island of Corsica.

“It’s in the nature of our sport to reflect on whether you can repeat certain victories,” Evans told the Dauphiné Libéré daily.

“I think I will continue at least until 2013 and I will be doing everything I can during the next two editions to have the best Tour possible.”

Evans, a former world champion, capped a superb early season last year by becoming the first Australian to win the coveted yellow jersey.

This year his biggest challenger is expected to be Britain’s Bradley Wiggins, the Team Sky leader who finished fourth overall in 2009 but crashed out of the race last year.

Evans added: “I have a good team around me and as long as I can meet the challenge physically I will be motivated and ready to focus on the Tour, which is my number one priority.”

In the event he successfully defends his title from 2011, Evans would become one of the oldest winners of the world’s premier cycling event. Belgium’s Firmin Lambot is the current record-holder, having won the race at the age of 36 years, four months and nine days in 1922. Evans turned 35 in February.