By Agence France Presse
World road champion Cadel Evans said Thursday he is considering returning to Australia in January to race the Tour Down Under for the first time since 2005.
The Australian two-time Tour de France runner-up said he was considering changing his strategy for 2010 and riding in the Adelaide tour was “highly possible”.
Evans, who won the elite men’s road race at the world championships in Switzerland this month, said he was mapping next year’s campaign with Silence-Lotto team chiefs and would confirm his plans early next month.
The thirty-two year-old said the chance to wear the rainbow jersey, won by taking the world championship, in his home country was a significant factor in the decision.
“I’d say it’s highly possible at this point,” Evans told Australian Associated Press from home in Switzerland. “It’s something we’re considering to be there but more for a presence in Australia with the rainbow jersey.
“I’m just waiting. By the start of November I would have confirmed everything. I’m just sorting out a few details with the team right now. It’s not just a matter of turning up to the race. It’s planning the year and the season and the goals and so on.”
The presence of American seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong along with home cycling hero Evans would greatly increase the world-wide profile of the season-opening Tour Down Under from January 17-24.
Evans said he was looking to shorten his season, but had a difficult job with the desire to return to Adelaide and also defend his world crown on home turf in Geelong in Australia in October.
“I’ve always tried to do a shorter season but I don’t have much choice,” he said.
“I try to do a shorter season but with the Australian Tour Down Under next year and people tend to forget there’s also the world championships at the other end of the season and in between that Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and
the Vuelta a España.
“It’s a long and difficult season, but there’s a chance next year I might try and hopefully concentrate my time on the first part of the year and come back for the world champs.”
Evans, a former winner, last raced in the Tour Down Under in 2005, his first year as a member of Silence-Lotto.