Cadel Evans will say farewell to the European professional road racing scene at the season-ending Giro di Lombardia, later today.
Cycling Central

7 Apr 2015 - 5:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:34 PM

The 37 year old announced last week his intentions to retire in February 2015, at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. With no European races on his calendar for 2015, Lombardia will mark the last time the decorated Australian dons a race number on the continent, a perhaps appropriate end for a rider whose career, and life have been inextricably linked to Italy.

Evans rode his early career in the Saeco-Cannondale colours, and then Mapei, both Italian teams in which Evans had no choice but to learn the language and integrate himself into the culture. He eventually settled in Switzerland, not far north of the Italian border, and has an Italian wife, Chiara, with whom he has a child, Robel.

Lombardia is the typical curtain closer of the European season, a lengthy, mountainous classic that takes in much of the northern Italian region's sights. Evans, who has ridden the race on eight previous occasions, with his best finish, fourth, says the race is always one of mixed feelings, and even more so this year.

"It's always a mixed feeling of a desire to do well, but also a relief to get some rest from a long year," said Evans. "There are a few races to go, but many end their season here. For me of course, it will probably be sad in some ways, as I will not be putting another race number here in Europe - not for international level competition anyway."

Evans added that after his crash at the UCI Road World Championships that forced him to abandon 100km from home, he's hopeful that he'll have more luck in Lombardia.

"A little less misfortune would be ideal. We're back in the trade team (after worlds), we have a good Samuel Sanchez and (Philippe) Gilbert here. I'm still trying to shake off a cold from last weeks Worlds, but I should be okay."

Evans will line up in Lombardia alongside Yannick Eijssen (BEL), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Ben Hermans (BEL), Steve Morabito (SUI), Samuel Sánchez (ESP), Tejay van Garderen (USA) and Larry Warbasse (USA) in Lombardia.

The 2014 Giro di Lombardia will be broadcast on SBS ONE and streamed online at Cycling Central from 12:15am AEDT Monday 6 October.