Despite being named as a hot favourite for the Australian men's road race in Ballarat on Sunday, Robbie McEwen is unlikely to start according to Cyclingnews sources at the Jayco Bay Classic criterium series gala dinner in Melbourne.
The Queenslander elected to miss the final criterium at Melbourne Docklands after coming down with bronchitis. "The idea at this time of the year is to get better with your training," McEwen said on Sunday. "But if I rest now there's a good chance I'll be better in time for the Tour Down Under."
McEwen was reportedly instrumental in having the race distance shortened to 163.2 km but there has been confusion in recent days over his participation in the event. Cyclingnews has attempted to contact the rider but received no response.
Last year's under 23 winner William Walker is a definite non-starter after flying back to Europe to resume training with Dutch ProTour squad Rabobank.