Australia's Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) has failed to escape injury rumours, despite a press release from Cycling Australia on Monday dismissing the claims. The rumour has again flared after the Tour de France runner-up withdrew from a post-Tour criterium in Diksmuide, Belgium.
The Diksmuide event's organizer Denis Bolle told AFP that the Australian Olympic team member had withdrew just hours before yesterday's event. A clearly displeased Bolle said a knee injury obtained from a post-Tour party thrown by Silence-Lotto was the reason for Evans' withdrawal.
"It shows a flagrant lack of respect," said Bolle. "[He only let us know] a few hours before the criterium."
Bolle's comments directly refute a statement made by Cycling Australia on Monday. The national body said Evans did slip on the floor but didn't fall over and dismissed injury rumours.
"That's what it is - a rumour," said Evans in the statement, which also acknowledge he was planning to contest the Belgian race yesterday.
Evans is expected to be Australia's best hope for a gold medal in the men's Olympic road race. The course in Beijing, China has a hilly profile which should suit Evans. The men's Olympic road race will be held on August 9, one day after the opening ceremony.