Who can’t remember the 2011 Tour de France, and the pride and inspiration that arose in us all when Cadel Evans stood on the winner’s podium? For though Cadel had a successful career in cycling, he had only come to road cycling in 2001. And for some of us that meant something remarkable, we hadn’t heard of him, which seemed to make his win sweeter still.
Immediately the press were on the case, bringing us details of this unassuming man. We learned that Cadel had been born in Katherine (in the Northern Territory), and that he had spent some of his childhood in an Aboriginal community at Barunga, 80km east.
And now as he approaches the end of his career, he is on a bike which reflects that upbringing in its design, a design which incorporates an Australian flag, a bike-riding comic character called, Tintin (whose framed picture hangs on his bedroom wall) and an Aboriginal artwork appearing on the bike’s fork and chainstays.
The artwork (pictured below) incorporates three tribal circles, representing the phases of Cadel’s life so far: the passionate cyclist of his youth, the young man who developed that passion into an incredible career, and the third circle representing his next stage of life as he takes his final bow.
Cadel Evans had commented that this Aboriginal-themed BMC will be a motivating factor, which is certainly bearing out in the Tour Down Under – a race which he may well win. “It would be a pleasure to have it seen out in front,” he said, before adding, “We shall see”.
It is his next ride, the Great Ocean Road Race, which will be (sadly for us) his last.