UCI grants wildcard to Australia for road time trial

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has officially confirmed Australia has been awarded a second starting place in the men’s road time trial for the Olympic Games. Cycling Australia was notified earlier this week of the offer and after discussions with the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has officially accepted the position.

Australia had qualified only one place in the event with Cadel Evans originally listed as the rider to contest it. But on Tuesday Evans, considering the best interests of the team, withdrew from the time trial due to a knee injury and was replaced by three time World Champion, Michael Rogers.

“For the time trial there’s no hiding and every day that I miss training is seconds and therefore places in the result,” said Evans. “I wouldn’t want to deprive Mick (Rogers) of an opportunity to do what is our our best chance to get a result for the team.”

But on Wednesday Evans received the call from Bannan advising him the UCI was offering a ‘wildcard’ to Australia.

“Shayne Bannan called me with the news and I was on the table getting treatment with my knee all bandaged up in ice and an electro-stimulator attached and he said we’ve got that second place,” said Evans recognising the irony of his situation. “I looked at my swollen knee and thought ‘oh good for you’,
“(But) let’s see how it goes and first concentrate on getting my knee better and see if I’m worthy of going for the road race and seeing if I can be good enough for the road race,” explained Evans. “Then beyond that – for me to go and start the time trial I’d have to have a pretty stellar ride in the road race.

“Every day I’m doing the physio and treatment on my knee and every day getting better but we’ll decide on Monday morning whether I go or Adam Hansen goes in my place,” said Evans who last represented Australia at an Olympic Games in 2000 when he was riding a mountain bike. “I don’t want to go unless I can do a good result for myself and the team or contribute to a good result for the team so if I don’t recover from my injury and am not close to my best I don’t mind staying at home.”

Bannan says a series of tests run on Evans today indicate his knee is improving.

“Treatment on Cadel’s knee has been going well and we’re hopeful that on Monday he’ll get the all clear to fly to Beijing,” said National Performance Director, Shayne Bannan. “Considering the progress of his recovery we’re optimistic that he can back up after the road race and give the time trial a decent go.”

For further information (media only) please contact:

Gennie Sheer, Sheer Rhetoric , Communications Director, Cycling Australia
Tel: +61 (0) 418 863 533 (please note I am on European time which is Sydney -8hrs)
Email: gennie.sheer@cycling.org.au
Cycling Australia website http://www.cycling.org.au

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