So Cadel Evans is now the World Road Champion. Cadel and the Australian team rode a great tactical race with Evans only putting his nose into the wind in the final few miles. Previously, I wrote that I hoped that Cadel's most important win would take the pressure off and allow him to be more positive with journalists and fans. Well, one thing I forgot to mention is a little thing my friend Lindsay reminded me about which is the curse of the rainbow jersey.
Winning the World Road Championships carries with it the privilege of wearing a rainbow jersey for the next year. The jersey calls you out as the reigning World Champion. For every rider incapable of winning the Tour de France, winning the World Road Championships is the greatest achievement of their career (OK, maybe Paris-Roubaix is up there,too). Unfortunately, there seems to be a bit of history to support the fact that for many winners of the World Road Championships, their winning ways stop when they pull on the rainbow jersey.
That's why they call it the curse of the rainbow jersey. You win the biggest race of your career then spend the next twelve months trying to explain to journalists and the public that you are still a deserving champion even though you haven't won anything since the year before.
Which brings us to the Cadel dilemma. While I was hoping that this win would turn Cadel's whining ways into winning ways, given the curse, it appears that next year may prove to be a, well, um, uh, bit of a down year. Clearly, the curse may not affect Cadel, but if it does, how will it affect Cadel? We can all get frustrated when things don't go our way. Hopefully, Cadel can defeat the curse and all will be smiles in 2010.