Five things you didn't know about Cadel Evans

Monday, July 25, 2011
Five things you didn't know about Cadel Evans
Cadel Evans claimed the Tour de France winner's yellow jersey in Paris yesterday.

Cadel Evans became the first Australian to win the Tour de France yesterday. Here are five fast facts about our latest sporting legend.

1. Growing up
Evans was born with a broken nose in Katherine, Northern Territory on Valentine's Day, 1977. He studied at Eltham High School in Victoria but also lived in Upper Corinda and Armidale, New South Wales whilst growing up.

He rode his first BMX bike at age two and as a child would ride so far from his country home that his mum had to use their dog to work out what direction he had cycled.

At eight years old Evans was in a coma for a week after he was kicked in the head by a horse. He surprised his doctors by returning to school within months.

Evans is a self confessed Tintin freak, who has a framed picture of Tintin on his bedroom wall.

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2. Love life
Evans is married to Italian classical pianist and music teacher Chiara Passerini. They met in 2002 and Cadel proposed to her in Paris after finishing his first Tour de France in 2005.

They live in Stabio, Switzerland during the racing season but spend three months in Australia each year based in Barwon Heads, Victoria.

3. Cycling
Evans never expected to become an Australian sports star, because all the sports he played at school, like soccer and cricket, required speed and size. However, by the age of 21 he had won his first World Cup cycling trophy.

In the cycling world he has been known as "the nearly man" after missing out on the top spot in major races, most notably coming second in the Tour de France twice, in 2007 and 2008.

At 14, Cadel set himself the goal of winning the Tour de France, the biggest and toughest event on the world cycling calendar. Yesterday, on his seventh Tour, he achieved this. At 34, he is the oldest winner since World War II.

4. Charity
Evans is a supporter of The Amy Gillett Foundation, in memory of a fellow cyclist who was killed in an accident, and Ian Thorpe's Foundation for Youth.

He is passionate about Tibetan culture and visited Kathmandu to support to charity Asia Onlus that aims to promote social development in Tibet. During the 2008 Tour de France, Evans caused controversy when he sported a t-shirt in support of Tibet's struggle against China.

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5. Celebrations
Evans' win is being compared to Australia's Americas Cup Victory in 1983 when Bob Hawke declared "any boss who sacks a worker for not turning up today is a bum".

However, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has ruled out an official public holiday to celebrate Evan's historic win.

Victorian Premier Ted Baillieau has confirmed the victory will be honoured by the state's government. Suggestions so far include a reception, a parade or a new Victorian cycling event named in his honour.

The AFL has also invited Evans, a Geelong Cats supporter, to be a part of their official Grand Final Celebrations.

Your say: Were you proud of Cadel Evans' historic Tour de France win?

Video: Cadel Evans soaks up dream Tour win

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