Cadel Evans finished his European career with one last effort for teammate Philippe Gilbert in the finale of Il Lombardia and finished 25th, in a chase group, 46 seconds behind winner Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp).
After the race Cadel was quick to tweet: “Il Lombardia done…my last race in Europe, thank you all for making an enjoyable one! #imalittleemotional”.
The fans (tifosi) at the finish in Bergamo were as mad and uncontrolled as ever, and mobbed Cadel as he searched for his BMC soigneur, a drink and some directions to find the team bus. With his face dirty and his legs tired after 260km of racing, there was little time to realise that he would never race in Europe again.
I gave my last effort to put Gilbert at the front for the last climb to Bergamo,” Evans said
“Once I got into the race and focused on my race, I wasn’t that emotional.”
At the start of Il Lombardia in Como, Cadel enjoyed the moment and the goodbyes. He brought his young son Robel to the start and onto his final sign-on podium. On the tape holding his race radio in his ear, he had written ‘Grazie’ – Thanks.
I’ll definitely miss racing.”
“I want to do well today but also enjoy the moment. But I know I’ve got to stay focused on the race but I want to be up the front and feel the passion of the race. The passion is always strong in Italian races.”
“It’s a pretty emotional moment for me. It’s my last race in Europe. I want to feel my career was happy, without any regrets. That was always a big motivation for me. I don’t have many regrets and want to finish this season on a good note, if that be giving my all for the team or doing a good ride. I want to enjoy it because I know I won’t have another opportunity.”
“I leave the sport satisfied and looking forward to the future. I’ve had enough and given my all. I can’t add much more to my palmares in the future, and so I have to be satisfied with that. I’ve had some good results in the last 20 years and so I’m not going to complain.”
Recently Cadel announced to the word that his race in Feburaury will be his last.
My big goodbye will be in Australia,” he said. “I’ll ride the national championships, the Tour Down Under and then the race in my name, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race on February 1. That’s when I’ll probably be really emotional.”