Just as Lance Armstrong’s Tour successes helped popularize cycling in his homeland, Cadel Evans’ triumph in the event has seen an upsurge of interest in Australia.
The Age reports on how the “Cadel effect” has seen demand for bikes and accessories hit new heights Down Under, while cycling clubs have experienced a huge spike in membership applications.
As for BMC branded bikes and kit, it's boom time. The country’s distributor, Echelon Sports, has sold out of Cadel Tour-replica hats, jerseys and caps while 14 of the 15 yellow limited edition Tour-winning replica BMC bikes bound for the Australian market have been pre-sold at a cost of around AU$18,000 or £11,500 each.
BMC Australia brand manager Rob Rixon said that in the three weeks after Evans’ Tour win, more BMC bikes were sold in the country than had been in the preceding three months.
In Evans’ home state of Victoria, club memberships had risen by 300 per cent to 8000 since 2007, the year in which he finished second in the Tour, according to Cycling Victoria general manager Kipp Kaufmann.
At local level, Rob Monteath, Secretary for the Blackburn Cycling Club in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne told The Age that since Evans' win 20 new members have signed up, most of them in their early to mid teens. '
"They say they had been watching the Tour de France and they have been thinking about it for a while, but this has made them decide it is what they want to do,'' he said.