The battle lines have been drawn: Robbie McEwen wants to go the Vuelta a España and his team, Predictor-Lotto, said "The case is closed. McEwen won't go."
"I understand the team's commercial interests," the sprinter admitted on Sportwereld.be. "I understand that they want wins in the Eneco Tour, but my form has been based on riding the Vuelta." He continued, "I am still very angry concerning the way everything has gone. OK, the Vuelta wasn't originally in my program but neither was the Eneco Tour."
Team manager Marc Sergeant countered, "For years the national lottery has wanted a win in the Eneco Tour, because it is a sponsor of the race. Plus it gets as much attention in Belgium as the Vuelta. It is simple: the selection has been made."
McEwen met with Marc Coucke, the head of Omega-Pharma (the sponsor behind the Predictor product), who said that "he had no objection to my selection but would leave it to the team management to decide." The rider and Sergeant were scheduled to meet again Wednesday evening. "I think that McEwen is professional enough to know where he stands," Sergeant said.