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Cycling: World champ Evans joins BMC

Evans finally got his hands on a world champion's rainbow jersey on the road  this season.
Evans finally got his hands on a world champion's rainbow jersey on the road this season.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Cadel Evans leaves Silence-Lotto to join BMC Racing Team for 2010
  • Australian won the world road race championship in Switzerland this year
  • He joins fledgling squad including George Hincapie and Alessandro Ballan
  • Floyd Landis off the pace in Tour of Southlands in New Zealand

(CNN) -- Reigning world road race champion Cadel Evans has signed for the American-based BMC Racing Team for next season.

The 32-year-old Australian has negotiated his release from Belgian squad Silence-Lotto to sign a three-year deal with BMC, it was announced on Monday.

Evans ended his 2009 season in superb form, finishing third in the Tour of Spain and then crowning his professional career with a superb victory to claim world gold in Switzerland.

But back in July, he finished a disappointing 30th in the Tour de France as Silence-Lotto performed poorly in the team time trial to hinder his chances of challenging the likes of Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong.

Victory in the Tour remains a long-time goal for twice runner-up Evans, who is hoping a change of team will provide the extra spur.

"A great opportunity has come for me to join a growing team of like minded individuals at BMC," he told their official Web site.

"I look forward to working with the BMC group toward the same goals including the Tour de France.

"Obviously, I would like to do better than my two second places at the Tour de France."

Obviously, I would like to do better than my two second places at the Tour de France
--Cadel Evans

Swiss-backed BMC Racing have recruited the experienced American George Hincapie, a former teammate of Armstrong, and Italian star Alessandro Ballan to boost their fledgling squad, which also includes the promising Marcus Burghardt and Karsten Kroon.

But they have yet to gain a full Pro Tour license to guarantee participation in the Tour de France and other leading races and will have to rely on invitations.

"We have a plan to go to the biggest races, including the Grand Tours," sports director John Lelangue said.

"That includes the Tour de France. This will be possible since our sporting level has greatly increased in standard."

Meanwhile, disgraced 2006 Tour de France champion Floyd Landis was a lowly 33rd after the opening two stages of the Tour of Southland in New Zealand.

The American has made a low-key return to racing after being suspended for two years and stripped of the Tour title when doping tests revealed abnormal levels of testosterone.