TOUR de France 2011 winner Cadel Evans is visiting Bendigo for the first time to give an elite level insight into mindset, conditioning and preparation.
Now retired from competitive cycling, Evans is the special guest at the “Keeping the Pedals Moving” event to be presented by the City of Greater Bendigo, Be.Bendigo and Deakin University at Ulumbarra Theatre tonight.
“They say cycling is a tough sport, but it’s the only sport I know really well, so I don’t know any different,” Evans said on Wednesday afternoon at a civic reception held at the Bendigo Town Hall.
“But to get to the top in a sport like cycling, or to be No.1 at anything in the world, it’s not easy and you’re going up against the most talented, well-prepared, trained and dedicated people in that given field.
“Cycling is no different in that regard and it certainly taught me a lot of lessons… the main thing is don’t give up, surround yourself with good people and work very hard.”
White it is Evans’ first visit to Bendigo, he is familiar with the city’s rich cycling history.
“My biggest cycling education is through a member of the Bendigo cycling community Matt Wallace,” Evans said.
“He trained with me in Europe some years ago when we were both racing for the mountain bike World Cup.
“That’s my biggest connection to Bendigo cycling and Matt is now an accomplished cycling coach and advisor.”
Evans made Wednesday’s trip to Bendigo having just taken part in the Steve Waugh Foundation Captain’s Ride in Tasmania on Tuesday.
On the horizon for Evans is the fourth edition early next year of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race being held from January 25 to 28, featuring men’s and women races and a family ride.
Bendigo’s Peta Mullens has previously competed in the Great Ocean Road Race and, along with Chris Hamilton, is also part of Wednesday night’s event at Ulumbarra Theatre.
“I have grown up idolising Cadel in races like the Tour de France. His pathway through cycling with mountain bikes and then being discovered on the road is fairly close to home to me and for a lot of other cyclists who have come through Bendigo,” Mullens said.
“It’s fantastic to see that in retirement he is pushing on to try to further the sport in not only the men’s, but women’s as well with his Great Ocean Road Race.”