Hello for October. My next guest is very big news in the sport of cycling and both a proud Australian and a true world figure- Cadel Evans. Without a doubt this gruelling cycling marathon around France must be one of the greatest endurance sporting events on the calendar. My son is very fit and an avid cyclist. A little while ago he completed just one leg of the contest, involving the hilliest part of the Tour. Keen amateurs and former racers did this 'for fun' and less than half the field completed the one day torture course. In a totally different way my 'Life Charts' are a theoretical marathon, as I slowly research my subject's lives and try to piece together just the co-incidences, with such a small number of years. Against all seeming odds, good evidence often appears.
Let's begin at the beginning. The very first year in someone's 'Life Chart' is their age 7 'Year of Broken Pathways'. Does anything happen? Does it feature a challenge or direction change? The record shows that at age 7 a young Cadel was kicked in the head by a horse, rushed to hospital and goes into a coma. Doctors advised he may be permanently crippled and have other issues. His mother stays constantly by his bedside trying to be positive. Eventually Cadel comes conscious and is miraculously physically intact. For months later he suffers from headaches and palsy on one side of his face, but through determination comes through all this.
Now let's skip forward to when he was aged 12 and in his first remembered 'Year of Revolution'. Was there any new age/direction that was ushered in by fateful events? Well the story, as told by his excellent biography "Almost Flying", is that just before turning 12 in late 1988, he goes on his first ever mountain bike race and completes only one lap before retiring exhausted. He had ridden out too hard. After this he swore he'd never race on mountains again. Six months later he relented and then in his first up race comes second, and wins every other race he went in that year. Unfortunately the book doesn't say why this happened, or if he was encouraged by someone else....I'd have to interview him personally for this (which would be a rare treat). This was the ushering in of his new age/direction and to be the genesis, a couple of years later, of his highly successful BMX era.
Now we jump to his first adult 'Year of Broken Pathways' at age 19. What may have been his challenge and direction change then? He was at the Australian Institute of Sport when his coach, Damian Grundy, was appointed to coach the brand new Olympic discipline of mountain biking. He was encouraged to go for the Atlanta squad. Grundy says there was no guarantee he'd make the squad or race at Atlanta, but he did and he came 9th, and was now in the World top 10. It was said by the Head AIS cycling coach, that making mountain biking an Olympic sport changed everything. It was now taken seriously for the first time. His challenge was to build a reputation as an Olympian as well as BMX specialist and he went on to compete at the Sydney, 2000 Games.
Now to his first adult age 24 'Year of Revolution'. For those whose career begins early this is often an important age, rather than just a career beginning. Cadel states that in the year before he was 24, he realised that he had reached all the goals he could in BMX/mountain biking. and that he felt he needed a fresh challenge. His biography uses this exact phrase:- " In 2001 (at 24) he began a new cycle in his life" when he took up road racing and by the end of the year had totally given up mountain biking. He had been advised in 2000 by Michele Ferrari to give this a go and in 2001 joined the prestigious Italian team-Saeco. There is no question that it was his new age/direction.
OK, we're now down to the last of his current 'significant years', when he was 31 (in 2008) and in another 'Year of Broken Pathways' What was the challenge and direction change and why did it lead on to his recent Tour De France victory? There's a good 2000 word essay in this. So it's 2008 and Evans is favourite to win the Tour for the first time, as Contador can't compete. He holds the yellow jersey for stages 10-14, but goes on to come second by 58 seconds. On the night the Tour ended, he slipped on a wet dance floor in Paris and ruptured his cruciate ligament, which ended his hopes for Olympic glory in Beijing, even though he bravely competed. So, the challenge is now obvious- win the Tour. You're not going to be happy with just second and particularly when you were expected to win.
Now he went on to win this year, but it's not in one of my 'significant years'. Why do I say he's 'at the top of the mountain'? Well to find out for yourselves, you're just going to have to read the full incredible, and I promise you mind-blowing, 'Life Cycles' theory, in my soon to be released book 'The Life Cycles Revolution'. This isn't yet ready however, but I'll tell you when it is. Think about the Cadel Evans eras. At 12, begins the mountain bike era. At 24, begins the road racing era. This is as straightforward as Novak Djokovic and parallel to Steve Jobs. Just lucky again? What about if it's not luck? Till we meet again:- "may the cycles always bring you good fortune".