Evans begins his title defence in the gruelling road racing classic in Belgium on Saturday and will have just five days from its conclusion on July 22 before the opening ceremony of the Games.

Cadel Evans won a stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné earlier this month. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)

“The riders will come together the day after the Tour to prepare as a team,” Australia’s professional men’s coordinator Matt White said.

“It will just be a matter of maintaining the form they’ll have from the three weeks of racing in France.”

The 35-year-old will not, however, be competing until the individual time trial on Aug. 1, where he will be looking for his first medal in his fourth Games.

Stuart O’Grady will be racing in his sixth Games having also been included in the team alongside this year’s Milan-San Remo Classic winner Simon Gerrans, three-times individual time trial world champion Michael Rogers and Olympic debutant Matt Goss.

“This has been one of the most difficult team selections in Australia’s cycling history because we really have enough talent to field two teams of Olympic standard,” White said.

“We have more than 30 Aussie riders in the ProTour and they’re major contributors to their respective teams,” he added.

“It’s a great position to be in and we’re really pleased with the riders we’ll be putting on the start line.”

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