Although Cadel Evans is not participating in the up coming Vuelta in Spain, he is still making the headlines after signing a new deal with the Silence-Lotto team. Many cycling pundits believe Evans’s team let him down in the Tour de France, but Mike Tomalaris says there is room to rebuild and improve before next year’s Grand Tours.
7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:36 PM

So Cadel Evans has decided to sign with Silence-Lotto for another two years.

While some may argue whether the decision is a good one, I feel to stay with the Belgian-based outfit is a positive step.

Not surprisingly, one of Australia's highest profile sportsmen is greatly respected by team management and the entire cycling-mad Belgian population.

Whatever Evans commands, he generally gets and I'm sure that had much to do with his signing on the dotted line until the end of 2010.

Evans himself will select the riders he wants to help push his cause of winning the 2009 Tour de France.

There's no denying Yaroslav Popovych was a failure at this year's Tour but I feel the Ukrainian is still the man who can turn things around for Evans next year.

Popovych can start by making an impression at the Vuelta when he leads Silence-Lotto in Evans' absence.

Also, I wouldn't be surprised if Silence-Lotto's roster in 2009 is devoid of any riders from the Benelux nations and replaced by classic "mountain goats" who will exclusively work for the Aussie.

That being the case, I believe next year's squad will be one of mixed nationalities similar to that of CSC-Saxo which was cycling's answer to the United Nations.

Whether Evans decides to stick with Serge the bodyguard is still unclear.

Don't get me wrong Serge is a top bloke and always good for a chat, but personally I feel he was the man responsible for Evans' lack of PR skills at the Tour.

I saw a different Cadel in July - one that surprised me.

In my opinion there's never an excuse for poor manners and I saw a side of Cadel which made me cringe at times.

The excuse of pressure during competition doesn't sit with me as many of us are under duress when it comes to the working environment.

Members of the throng of international media covering the Tour will agree.

Either way, my respect for Evans as a cyclist will never diminish.

After four attempts, he knows what is required to win the world's biggest race.

The work starts now and by staying put at Silence-Lotto, I feel it's the first step to finally conquering cycling's biggest mountain.