It's clearly time for Cadel Evans to make a new start but with most team rosters already well stocked he doesn't have many options, writes Matthew Keenan.
Team Silence-Lotto's Cadel Evans (AAP)
Much has been made of the problems with the Silence-Lotto team and what support they have or haven’t provided Cadel Evans at the Tour de France.
into the 2009 edition, although not among the top six teams in the
race, the team was the strongest that has been put on the road in
support of Evans.
But, with the expectations for this year’s
Tour not being met, the relationship between the Australian and his
Belgian bosses appears to be strained to say the least.
There have been numerous suggestions that Evans should leave Silence-Lotto despite having another year on his contract.
But with all the top teams already having strong leaders in place where should he go?
Saxo Bank isn’t going to put Evans in ahead of Andy Schleck.
Columbia-HTC has so many options already that he’s not going to fit in there.
Three Italians at Liquigas, Vincenzo Nibali, Franco Pellizotti and Ivan Basso, plus Roman Kreuziger rules them out.
Garmin-Slipstream has a structure that’s delivering results and is unlikely to make room for Cadel.
In Spain Caisse d’Epargne must be doing all they can to get Alberto Contador.
As for Astana, with the return of Alexandre Vinokourov, that isn’t shaping up as the right environment.
So what about taking a risk on a new team.
The British Sky team, due to hit the road next year, is headed up two Australians with proven records, Shane Sutton and Scott Sunderland
has been the architect of British cycling’s success and one of the most
important figures in the career of Bradley Wiggins, particularly during
some of the difficult periods.
Sunderland was one of the key Directeur Sportif’s at CSC behind Carlos Sastre’s 2008 Tour de France win and Stuart O’Grady’s victory in the 2007 Paris-Roubaix.
He was headhunted by the Cervelo Test Team because of his performances but was in such demand that Sutton then poached him before the season had even started.
doesn’t have a reputation for being the easiest person in the world to
work with, but these two men would be among the best to extract every
last drop of talent out of the Australian.
They may even come up with a season structure that isn’t completely reliant on results at the Tour de France to measure whether or not it has been a successful year.