Cadel Evans has declared his intention to ride on in 2015 and has decided he wants to stay at BMC, where his existing deal is shortly set to expire.
Sitting out of the Tour de France for the first time in a decade, the 2011 yellow jersey winner said he was suffering no withdrawals.
Evans, 37, said during a brief return to Australia for the announcement of a major new race, that in all likelihood he rode his last Tour last year. But after the champion's recent vague comments about whether he was preparing for a professional swansong Down Under next summer, Evans has clearly resolved his desire to continue as a pro for another full season.
Evans said he would "definitely" race in the new UCI-sanctioned one-day, 175-odd kilometre, event that has been named in his honour and will wind along the Great Ocean Road into Geelong next February. And BMC is where the Australian wants to finish his career – news that will disappoint those who envisaged the nation's greatest road cyclist one day joining Australia’s first WorldTour team, Orica-GreenEDGE.
"Obviously there are other teams that I could go to," Evans said.
"But we've created a lot at BMC. I went and joined BMC when they were a small continental team and we built up with a hope to go the Tour de France once day. And within two years, I think, we won the Tour de France.
"I'll certainly be riding, and in BMC colours, at these races next year.
"I think to finish my career with them would be the right thing to do."
Evans suggested he would re-sign once the team bosses had assessed the performance of their new main man in the Tour de France, Tejay van Garderen.
On the eve of the Tour, BMC's president Jim Ochowicz indicated a preference to keep Evans associated with the team beyond this year. In saying that could be a "business" role however, Ochowicz gave the impression that Evans could be close to retiring from racing.
Asked on Thursday whether he expected to ride a Tour de France again, Evans said: "There's a good chance, no."
"I don’t miss it to be honest," he said. "If I knew that I could have been at the front winning it, then I would.
"But to perform well in those races you need 100 per cent commitment, and 100 per cent conviction from the team behind you. And now the team's switched their efforts behind Tejay … there would be a bit of an uphill battle on that front."
Evans aimed to win the first grand tour on the men's annual road cycling calendar, the Giro d’Italia, in May. He wore the leader's pink jersey for four days but was disappointed to finish eighth overall.
After fine-tuning himself again in upcoming races in America, he will ride support for Samuel Sanchez in the third and final grand tour of the year, the Vuelta a Espana, next month.
"I've never gone to a grand tour just to go and be at the services of everyone else. But that's going to give a good opportunity, I think, to see how my body performs and without the pressure and expectation of having to do the result," Evans said.
"That's going to be, I think, something to use as an indicator of the future."