Tour champion Evans considers Olympic campaign

Tour de France winner Cadel Evans of Australia, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, cycles down the Champs Elysees during the victory parade after winning the Tour de France cycling race in Paris, France, Sunday July 24, 2011.  (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
Tour de France winner Cadel Evans of Australia, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, cycles down the Champs Elysees during the victory parade after winning the Tour de France cycling race in Paris, France, Sunday July 24, 2011. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

SYDNEY (AP) — Tour de France champion Cadel Evans says he'd love to compete at the 2012 Olympics, only if the course is tough enough.

Evans became the first Australian — and only third non-European — to win the Tour when he finished in Paris on Sunday.

His schedule is being overhauled to accommodate extra commitments now but he hasn't ruled out racing at the Olympics, despite the London Games starting only days after the 2012 Tour de France.

Evans said if the road and time trial courses suit his strengths, he'll be hoping to compete in London.

"I don't know if the course is going to be suitable," Evans told the Australian Associated Press in a telephone interview from Switzerland on Wednesday. "But if I can be the man for the job to represent the country, of course I would love to ride.

"If it's a course more suitable to someone else, then it should be for someone else."

Evans said the timing of the Olympics was no problem.

"The timing falls well for us as Tour riders — there's also an interesting world championships course in 2012 and a few other things," he said.

"We have to prioritize and choose our goals, but Tour de France 2012 is going to come around really quickly."

The 34-year-old Evans is already a three-time Olympian, having competed in mountain bike events at Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney in 2000 before switching to road. He contested both the road time trail and road race at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the same year he finished second in the Tour de France.

Australia's cycling fraternity has already started talking about Evans winning a treble of major road cycling events by winning an Olympic gold to go with his 2011 Tour de France and 2009 road world championship titles.

Evans, whose next ride will be later this week either in the Netherlands or Belgium, said he's barely had time to reflect since Sunday.

"I haven't had time to stop and think about being tired," he said. "But it's a slow realization that I've won the Tour de France in 2011."