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Cadel Evans, Tour de France winner, four-time Olympian, sets retirement

Cadel Evans

GIVORS, FRANCE - JULY 14: Cadel Evans of BMC Racing Team looks on ahead of stage fifteen of the 2013 Tour de France, a 242.5KM road stage from Givors to Mont Ventoux, on July 14, 2013 in Givors, France. (Photo by Scott Mitchell/ via Getty Images) via Getty Images

Cadel Evans, the first Australian to win the Tour de France in 2011 and a four-time Olympian, said he will retire from cycling in February.

Evans, 37, began his Olympic career as a mountain biker at age 19 in Atlanta 1996, the first time the discipline was contested at the Olympics. He placed ninth as the event’s youngest finisher, with his dead dog’s tooth on a chain around his neck, according to the Australian.

“I don’t think I’ll hit my peak until 2004,” Evans told the newspaper in 1996.

He made the Australian team in mountain biking again for the Sydney 2000 Games and finished seventh.

“Maybe [I’ll try] a three-week tour like the Tour de France or something that more suits my style,” he said after the disappointing finish in 2000, according to the Melbourne Herald Sun.

Evans switched to road racing, missed selection for the Athens 2004 Olympics and made his Tour de France debut in 2005. He also made the Australian Olympic road teams for Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

Evans won no Olympic medals, his best finish fifth in the road time trial in 2008.

He did win Commonwealth Games gold in 2002 in the road time trial and World Championships gold in 2009 in the road race.

“Cycling built me as a person, it’s been more than half of my life; it’s amazing what this sport gave me,” Evans said, according to VeloNews. “It’s given me all I could dream for.”

9/25/00: Magic Monday at Sydney Olympics

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