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Cadel Evans

In their own words

Recorded 2016

Cadel Evans
Audio: 2 minutes

My first Tour de France was in 2005, I started quite late at the age of about 28. Everyone told me you can’t believe how fast it is and how many people there are and not only is it the most competitive with the deepest quality field, the most competitive field to race in, therefore the hardest to win at, it also goes far beyond the sport in terms of the public, the spectators, the number of spectators, but also the type of spectators. You’re still in a bike race and you’re racing along roads but all of a sudden you’re racing in a crowd of maybe a soccer stadium. And yeah, that’s sort of one race where you’ll probably get beers spilt on you once while you’re racing a bike. There might be 100, 200, 300 thousand people standing on the side of the road, and they all want to see one rider and if you’re in the yellow jersey that’s really quite unlike anything else I’ve experienced in life. I wouldn’t say it’s healthy, three weeks is a long time to be in the limelight like that.

Obviously my 2011 Tour de France victory is what sort of shaped me as a bike rider and, I suppose, as an Australian sports person. I’m proud of how I got there and how I worked and the difficulties that I overcame to get there. Two years previously I became world champion on the road, I won the 2009 World Championship road cycling world championships and that was in a moment of difficulty. A lot of people in the world of cycling didn’t believe in me. But I believed in myself, and I had a few key people around me believe in me and together we overcame what seemed like very difficult odds to do something that was at that moment in my sport in some ways historic.

My biggest thing that motivated me through my career was that one day, my opportunity’s going to end and when that day comes I don’t want to have any regrets that I didn’t’ work hard enough, that I didn’t try hard enough, didn’t make enough sacrifices or I wasn’t dedicated enough. And when that day did come, I crossed the finish line of my last race and I left the world of competitive cycling at the top level in complete peace, with some pride and a great deal of satisfaction of what I had the opportunity to achieve and with those opportunities, what I achieved.

Audio transcript

Acknowledgements

This recording was made during interviews for the National Portrait Gallery's Portrait Stories series.

Related people

Cadel Evans AM

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