Evans may cut season short with suspected low-grade infection

Former Tour champ to undergo testing after abandoning USA Pro Challenge

A low grade infection may force Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) to cut his season short after the Australian former Tour de France champion abandoned the USA Pro Challenge on Saturday.

Evans will travel to Milan this week to undergo testing after an unusually rocky July and August that included a withdrawal from the Olympic time trial due to exhaustion. According to a team release, medical staff believe that Evans has been battling “an off-and-on low grade infection.”

“Despite his usual full commitment and attention to training, Cadel has been experiencing unusual up and downs on his performance,” BMC Racing team doctor Max Testa said in a release. “Getting him back to full health and to his physiological standard of performance is a priority for the BMC Racing Team. If the testing goes as expected, Evans may return for the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal on September 9 in Canada.”

Evans failed to defend his Tour title in July, finishing sixth overall after falling out of contention in the mountains.

“I didn’t know what was holding me down at the time,” said Evans. “Now we have a better idea, and it’s a relief to have some indicators as to why I have been under-performing. When you don’t know why you’re not performing, you have to ask a lot of questions of yourself.

“It’s been disappointing for me, but I’d like to thank my teammates and people who are close to me — my family and so on — for supporting me during this frustrating period. The first thing is to get healthy and then come back to my best.”

Evans is scheduled to take part in the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal and the world championships, which open September 15 in the Limburg region of the Netherlands.