Cadel Evans to ride Tour Down Under

Cadel Evans to ride Tour Down Under, focusing on Giro d'Italia next season

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) -- Ex-Tour de France champion Cadel Evans will ride his home tour for the first time in three years in January as he begins preparations for his 2014 season's main goal: the Giro d'Italia.

Evans has ridden the season-opening Tour Down Under eight times, winning king of the mountains titles in 2002 and 2006 and the best young rider jersey in 1999. He last competed in the Australian leg of the ProTour in 2010, the year before his breakthrough victory in the Tour de France.

Evans isn't riding the 2014 Tour de France, leaving room for the Australian race on his schedule.

He says, "With my focus on the Giro d'Italia, everything comes earlier in the year. There is also the team's desire to get the season off to a good start."