Robbie McEwen has put the cat among the pigeons by declaring his dislike for the road race circuit at the Australian Championships on Mount Buninyong.
injury to the tender knee which kept Robbie out for most of last year
flared up after it was reported he accidentally hit it in his hotel
room inBallarat in the lead-up to the national crown.
Robbie has never been afraid to speak his mind, but his latest comments has raised the ire of race promoter John Craven.
McEwen says the course is strictly suited to mountain specialists and not sprinters.
"This time Robbie's gone too far", said Craven.
"I could handle his comments in the lead-up to the road race (McEwen calling to ban foreigners from competing), but not this time."
Problem is Robbie's thoughts on the toughness of the course are shared by others of his ilk.
Baden Cooke is a Tour de
France points jersey winner who agrees with Robbie, while another
high-profile European-based professional, (who will remain nameless)
says he was prepared to travel toBallarat and voice his displeasure for the course by way of waving placards.
Ballarat City Council has sewn up the rights for the Championships for another five years.
Judging by the comments from Craven, calls for change are likely to fall on deaf ears.
"I don't care what the riders think, it's (the course) staying the way it is", he said.
you check some of the national championships organised by cycling
governing bodies from other countries, you'll find the pave changes, or
at last vary, every year.
Can you imagine a UCI world championship held on the same course every year?
If that was the case, Mario Cipollini wouldn't have come close to gold on the flat roads around Zolder, Belgium in 2002.
Chances are Cadel Evans would not have captured the rainbow jersey if the hills around Mendrisio, Switzerland were not to his liking.
I'm surprised Robbie is prepared to make these latest comments - after all he conquered Buninyong in 2002 and added "value" to the green-and-gold jersey by being the first to wear it at the Tour de France.
It's an argument that's going to bubble along in years to come.
That said can someone describe to me whether newly-crowned champion Travis Meyer is a climber?
a bloke that has done exceptionally well on the velodrome, having won
junior world championships, he went OK on the hot roads at Buninyong.