Evans ready to ride at Giro

Team BMC's Cadel Evans (Photo: Getty)

World champion Cadel Evans will finally return to the race that caused so much tension in last year's planning.

Evans is determined to be a factor in May's Giro d'Italia, or Tour of Italy.

The Australian cycling star was in conflict with his old teamSilence Lotto at times last year because they wanted him in the GrandTour race.

But Evans was determined to base his season on the Tour de Franceand then the September world championships at Mendrisio, only a fewkilometres from his Swiss home.

While Evans had a disastrous Tour de France, his focus on the world titles paid off with an historic win.

"I'd been thinking about that circuit race around Mendrisio for acouple of years and planning my career around it, just about," he saidon Monday.

"That's why when the question came up last year about the Giro, I really didn't want to do it.

"I wanted to do the Vuelta (Tour of Spain) leading into the worldchampionships and looking back now, I'm quite happy with that decision.

"This year, a new team, I will put more emphasis on the start of the year ... it fits in really well.

"I'm going to have a big presence at the Giro - that's my intention."

Evans led the Giro for one day in 2002, the only time he has competed there.

He is now with Swiss team BMC and says he made the switch becausehe liked his new employers so much, not because of the well-publicisedstresses that developed at Silence Lotto (now Omega Pharma-Lotto).

"It wasn't so much to leave Silence Lotto but to be in this team - that was my motivation," he said.

"The team on every level has really been a pleasant surprise, justsuch a good organisation, such good planning and everything, followinga good vision."

BMC are not a ProTour team and they are not guaranteed a Tour de France start, so Evans has taken a risk with the switch.

But he and team management are confident their performances will earn them a start.

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