Cadel makes his mark

Peter Kennedy | Bendigo Weekly | 09-Nov-2017

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The 2011 Tour de France winner and four-time Olympian Cadel Evans AM enthralled local cyclists, business and civic leaders during a number of guest appearances in Bendigo on Wednesday.

Evans was in Bendigo to promote the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race to cycling enthusiasts throughout regional Victoria, and to share his insights on resilience and leadership at a City of Greater Bendigo,  Be.Bendigo and Deakin University function at Ulumbarra Theatre.  

In his maiden visit to Bendigo, Evans said Deakin University was a huge part of January’s race and a significant contributor to many regional communities, including here in Bendigo.

This year marks the third staging of the Great Ocean Road Race, and Evans said he was keen to see the women’s event continue to improve and gain greater acceptance and regard within the cycling ranks.

He also acknowledged local cycling coach Matt Wallace with whom he once lived with in Europe as the pair trained for a mountain bike world cup as his main connection to the local cycling community, and encouraged more local riders to take part in the public rides on offer, or to volunteer, for January’s Great Ocean Road Race.

Evans also implored anyone looking for success in their own endeavours to stay focussed and committed.

“Don’t give up, surround yourself with good people and work very, very hard,” he said.

At a civic reception held to honour the former world champion, Evans seemed humbled, but appreciated the acknowledgement and opportunity to talk up his passion for cycling.

Later, at the Bicycle Centre Bendigo store, Evans appeared more at ease in an environment he is far more used to, mingling with local cyclists, signing autographs and having his photo taken for local fans.

He then attended an intimate VIP function at Ulumbarra Theatre before taking to the stage for a “Keeping the Pedals Moving” event alongside local cycling stars Peta Mullens and Chris Hamilton and in front of more than 500 cycling enthusiasts and local residents.

They were keen to learn some of the secrets as to what motivated Evans throughout his long career. 

Mullens and Hamilton were similarly inspiring, particularly to the large number of young cyclists just starting out in the sport. 

The pair’s professionalism, passion and dedication to their chosen sport shone through on a night where cycling stood proud, and those lucky enough to be there knew they had just witnessed something quite remarkable. 

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