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Former Tour de France winner Cadel Evans announces imminent retirement

Former Tour de France champion Cadel Evans has announced that he will retire from cycling in February.

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Evans, who transitioned into road racing from mountain biking, won the 2011 edition of the Tour de France and was the first Australian to win the UCI Pro Tour in 2007 and the UCI Road World Championships in 2009.

The BMC Racing Team stalwart will compete in the inaugural Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on February 1 for his farewell, with the 34-year-old set to begin the 2015 season before moving into an ambassadorial role for BMC Switzerland.

Evans is also scheduled to race in the upcoming UCI Road World Championships in Spain, with his final event of the season coming in Il Lombardia on October 5.

Despite having competitive appearances on the horizon, Evans is certain that it is the right time to start winding his career down as he looks to begin a new role away from the road.

"I feel it is the right time to end my journey in competitive professional cycling," he told reporters in Ponferrada.

"It has been the journey of more than a lifetime, something I could never have envisioned when first experiencing the joy of riding a bike on the dirt roads of Bamylli [Barunga] in the Northern Territory.

"It is amazing how far two wheels can take a person.

"A special thank you goes to my current and final team. And to the many fans and people around the world who just enjoy riding a bike. Thank you " and keep riding."

BMC Racing manager Jim Ochowicz reminisced about Evans' move into road racing and suggested that his capture inspired the whole team to push on.

He added: "When Cadel started with us, we were basically a pro continental team just getting off the ground.

"He brought a whole new level of expectations and experience and that we lacked.

"Over time, we worked well together and were able to create some very dynamic moments over the years, particularly the 2011 Tour de France that brought us a place in the history books we will all be proud of the rest of our lives."

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