Cadel Evans is an Australian road cyclist who in 2011 became the first Australian cycling to win the Tour de France, after finishing runner-up in the 2007 and 2008 editions of the race.
Evans’ consistent form over recent Tours had failed to transpire into an eventual general classification victory, and many considered the then-34-year-old Evans’ best days to be behind him.
But a tenacious performance through the gruelling Pyrenees in the latter sections of the race set the stage for Evans to take a strangehold on the race after a dominant time trial on the penultimate stage put paid to his main challenger for the title, Andy Schleck.
Cadel Evans began his cycling career as a mountain bike rider, graduating from the Australian Institute of Sport before winning the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in 1998 and 1999 and finishing seventh at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
He then switched full-time in 2000 to begin his career as a professional road cyclist, competing for Saeco, Quickstep and Team Telekom in events such as the Giro d’Italia, Tour Down Under and Deutschland Tour between 2001 and 2004.
Evans competed in his first Tour de France in 2005 after joining Davitamon-Lotto and placed eighth, becoming the first Australian rider since Phil Anderson to place inside the top ten. In 2006 Evans won the Tour de Romandie and finished fourth in the 2006 Tour de France after Floyd Landis’ disqualification after the race.
In 2007 and 2008 Evans produced what had until 2011 appeared to be the best form of his career, finishing runner-up to Alberto Contador and Carlos Sastre respectively.
In 2010, Evans moved from Davitamon-Lotto to newly-established team BMC Racing and won the points classification at the 2010 Giro d’Italia before a fractured elbow crippled his chances of a third podium finish.
The 2011 Tour de France triumph made Cadel Evans a household name in Australia and with a very real opportunity at making it consecutive Tour de France victories, Evans has the chance to enter Australian sporting immortality.