EP: You rode strong at the Amgen Tour of California, what did that experience do for you and your team's confidence ahead of the rest of the season
CE: For myself, once I got through the first couple of bad days, things started to get better and better. Those first few days in those cold, rainy conditions were right up there with the toughest day's I've had on a bike. Consecutive days of bad weather like that really are hard. Once the weather cleared though it was decent. For our team, overall the race went well. We had some bad luck with Floyd having early mechanical problems with wheel and bike changes, but I think it was still a good race for us overall.
CE: Mexico was a good way to build some momentum as a team. We went down there and got close to winning initially and then got two stage wins later on. It felt like the beginning of good things for the rest of the season. Everything in Mexico is a bit different than in the States though. Of course it was a good race and we were well taken care of, but generally speaking in Mexico the operate a little bit differently. In California everything starts on time, there is a set schedule for everything, and you know when everything will happen. In Mexico start times got moved around a bit, there were long transfers before the starts, there were a few little chaotic happenings during the event. Overall though it was a good race. I'll say one thing, the crowds down there were pretty good! There were a lot of people who came out to the start of each stage, so that was great. Generally speaking, the road surfaces are not the best. There's a lot of speed bumps and stuff on the roads. You always have to be on edge as a rider, you never know when there will be a huge pot hole in the road.
EP: You'll be at San Dimas soon as the defending champion and the leader of OUCH. How will you approach this year's edition?
CE: For this race we'll have a few different cards to play. For myself I just want to try to limit my losses in the time trial if possible, and then look at any opportunities I may have in the road race or criterium. In terms of contending for the overall win, I think it will be tough for me to win. I'm sure I'll be watched by many other riders this year, and I think the winner of the hill climb TT could definitely end up winning the race right then and there. This year San Dimas is a chance for me to get myself prepared for Redlands.
EP: What are your biggest season goals for 2009?
CE: There really isn't any one race that I am looking to do especially well in. I haven't targeted any races during the year. I'm looking for consistency all season long.
EP: Most of the domestic riders I have talked to don't have specific season goals, yet the European pros seem to have a few races that they place above all others. Why is that the case?
CE: I think that in the US, you have fairly large gaps in the schedule, whereas in Europe they are racing so often that they just can't physically be at 95% for the whole season. There are times where they'll have to come in at 70% and build for specific races. In the US though there are enough breaks that you can take a bit of rest, get some big training in, and then bring it back up. Here you don't have to be racing when you're not feeling the best.
EP: You signed with OUCH after the Symmetrics team folded, what are your memories of being a part of that team?
CE: The best part about that team was that it was such a great group of guys, everyone got along well, essentially everyone was friends with each other. It was really fun to be on the road with those guys week to week. I'm still good friends with all those guys, and I miss riding on the same team as them.
EP: In 2005 you had a very bad injury that knocked you out of competition for the entire season. Tell us that story.
CE: Yeah, I was in Sydney, Australia training at the beginning of January to get ready for the season, and I ended up getting hit by a car. I shattered my knee cap and did a bunch of other damage. I did a ton of damage to my cartilage, broke a bone in the back of my leg, dislocated my knee. Initially when I got the surgery done the doctors said I would probably be able to return to riding my bike for recreation or whatever, but they weren't sure whether or not I would actually be able to race again. Basically it took about a full year before I could do any more than a half an hour on the bike. It was funny, because I had pretty much just given up, but after a little over a year it seemed to get really a lot better. I was able to increase my time on the bike, and from then on I knew I could probably get back to a decent level. It ended up being about a year and a half that I was away from competition. I did my rehab and made all my progress alone, I didn't really have much help from anyone. Of course my family was very supportive, but other than that I did it on my own.
EP: What did it mean to you to win the Canadian national championship in 2007 and wear your country's colors?
CE: That was definitely a big goal for me that year, and that race will always be one that I want to win. It was just awesome to get it, it had always been a big goal for the Symmetrics team to win it, so it was great to make it happen that year. I was proud to wear it for the year. That race will always be one that I want to do well at, but it gets harder to win it when you are going to be alone or with only one teammate in a field with teams that will have seven or more riders, a team like Planet Energy. When you're only two OUCH's, it makes it tougher to win.
EP: What type of race perfectly suits your characteristics?
CE: Man, that's a good question! I would describe myself as a jack of all trades but a master of none. An all-arounder's type of course is best for me. I see myself as an instigator, I like to attack rather than follow wheels . . .
EP: What can you tell us about being a teammate of Floyd Landis?
CE: Well, I roomed with him for the Tour of California and got along really well with him. Away from the public eye, Floyd is really funny actually. He's really down to earth. He's a lot of fun. He has his own sense of humor, that's for sure!
EP: What are your overall career plans as a pro cyclist?
I would definitely like to ride in the Pro Tour eventually down the road. That is something I would look at doing for sure. I'm just going to see how the next couple of years go. It's always a bit hard in the US because you only have a certain amount of races that are at a level that you can show yourself to the Pro Tour teams as a possible Pro Tour calibre rider. As good as the NRC racing is, I'm not sure that the Pro Tour teams are checking the results from those races. So in that sense it is a little bit tough.
EP: Ann Killian of the San Jose Mercury News rode along with the OUCH team in the team car this year at the Tour of California, and she wrote of cycling that it is a sport of misery, every day, every race. Is that how you would describe the sport?
CE: No, I wouldn't say that. She may have been in the car on one of the really rainy days, which may explain why she felt that way! But for every tough day there's always the ones where you feel good or the team does well. So it makes it worth it, in my mind anyway.
EP: What is it like being pursued by fans for autographs and being recognized while racing?
CE: It's kinda cool really. I mean it's a little bit weird, but . . . at the Tour of California it was amazing, but at many of the other races there aren't really that many people that come out. At Tour of California, you feel like you're a soccer star almost. Fans that are looking to get my autograph are great, I never mind doing it pretty much. The only bad time for me is right before the start of a race. I am usually running behind, so that's really the only time that I don't like to sign autographs. It doesn't bother me at all though for the most part.
CE: I would say Contador will win. I would say it is a 65% chance for a podium sweep and 80% for two of three Astana's on the podium.
EuroPeloton thanks Cam Evans very much for his time and we wish him the best of luck for the 2009 season.