Australian cycling legend Cadel Evans could compete at next month’s national road titles in Ballarat for the first time in nine years.
Cycling Australia (CA) announced on Saturday that the 2011 Tour de France winner had registered for the January 12 men’s elite road race.
The final decision will rest on how Evans’ pre-season training has gone, as well as the verdict of his BMC team.
“The nationals road race presents the first genuine racing opportunity of the year,” Evans said in a CA statement.
“Provided my training form continues as planned and following a final consultation with my team, I’m looking forward to lining up on Sunday morning for a solid hit-out against a quality field.”
The road nationals have not been on Evans’ radar for so long because his main goal each season has been the July Tour.
But this year he will not compete at the Tour de France and concentrate instead on the May Giro d’Italia.
Having his major goal earlier in the season also means Evans will race at the January 19-26 Tour Down Under in Adelaide for the first time since 2010.
“It’s always going to be a challenge taking on the larger teams such as ORICA-GreenEDGE and Drapac without my BMC teammates in support,” Evans said.
“But I would expect the race to give me a good early-season form guide leading into a solid block of racing over the coming months.”
If Evans starts, he will add to a star-studded field that will also feature Richie Porte, Orica-GreenEDGE leader Simon Gerrans and his teammate, defending champion Luke Durbridge.