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Evans signs with American cycling team BMC Racing

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PARIS (AP)

Road race world champion Cadel Evans of Australia signed a three-year contract with BMC racing with a victory in next year's Tour de France as his main goal, the American cycling team said Monday.

The two-time Tour de France runner-up, who announced last week he would leave the Silence-Lotto team at the end of the year, will join former Lance Armstrong teammate George Hincapie and former world champion Alessandro Ballan.

"Cadel brings a wealth of experience in the Grand Tours to the team," team co-owner Jim Ochowicz said in a statement.

The 32-year-old Evans got the biggest win of his career in September when he won the men's race at cycling's road world championships.

Following a disappointing 30th place on this year's Tour, Evans finished third in the Spanish Vuelta and now hopes he will be able to win the prestigious three-week race next summer.

"A great opportunity has come for me to join a growing team of like minded individuals at BMC," Evans said. "I look forward to working with the BMC group toward the same goals including the Tour de France. Obviously, I would like to do better than my two second places at the Tour de France."

BMC Racing, however, doesn't have a Pro Tour licence that would guarantee its participation at the Tour and the team will need to get an invitation from organizers to feature in the race.

"We have a plan to go to the biggest races, including the Grand Tours," sports director John Lelangue said. "That includes the Tour de France. This will be possible since our sporting level has greatly increased in standard."

In addition to placing second in the Tour in 2007 and 2008, Evans was runner-up in the past three Dauphine Libere stage races.