By Ben Abrahams
Following the confusion over his participation in the Australian men's road race championship, Robbie McEwen has confirmed to Cyclingnews that he will definitely not be at the start line in Ballarat on Sunday.
"I made a definite decision last night that I won't start the nationals in Ballarat," McEwen said on Wednesday. "I'm still suffering with bronchitis and need to make sure I'm rid of it before the Tour Down Under. I had been leaving my options open until now but there is little point making the trip if I'm not healthy."
McEwen's withdrawal coupled with team commitments for other top European-based professionals means the men's road race will be considerably more open than usual. Click here for a full preview of all events at the Australian Open Road Championships.
The 2002 and 2005 Australian champion is expected to be back for the start of the Tour Down Under, a six-day event starting on 16 January. The stage race marks the beginning of the season for a lot of European teams, including McEwen's Predictor-Lotto. Cyclingnews will be at the race with daily reports and live coverage.