Cadel Evans kicks off his season today

Cadel Evans has admitted he has taken a laid-back approach to the 2011 cycling season, although it is all part of his bigger plans to get back in contention for victory at the Tour de France.

Evans finished runner-up in the three week epic in 2007 and 2008, but has failed to challenge for the race’s coveted yellow jersey in the past two years.

Having come to the Tour last year after a solid campaign in the three-week Giro d’Italia in May/June – which left him fatigued for the start of the Tour – Evans this season is taking a far more relaxed approach.

He will only kickstart his 2011 season on Thursday, at the Giro del Friuli in Italy, according to his BMC team.

“There are a lot of riders who are far ahead of me in terms of physical condition,” said Evans.

“This is the latest start to a season I have had since 2004. It will be an adjustment for me, as well as those who are used to seeing me in front early in the season. People seem to forget how long and hard the cycling season is.”

Evans will notably be joined at the race by Italian teammate Alessandro Ballan.