Cadel Evans bails on Flanders post-Tour criterium

Tour runner-up heading to Varese, Italy for Bejing training

Tour de France runner-up Cadel Evans pulled out of the one day criterium held in Flanders on Tuesday with a reported injured knee, but mystery surrounded the origin of the injury.

According to organiser Denis Bolle, the Australian cyclist sustained the problem at a rock and roll party put on by his team Silence-Lotto in a Parisian cafe on Sunday night to celebrate the end of the Tour.

"It shows a flagrant lack of respect," said Bolle, adding he had only been told of Evans' absence "a few hours before the criterium".

But Bolle's version was challenged by the Australian cycling federation which published a statement dismissing as "an unfounded rumour" speculation that Evans had injured his knee which "threatened his participation at the Olympic Games".

Evans is due to link up with his fellow Olympic competitors at a pre-Games training camp in Varese, northern Italy, during the week.

© BikeRadar & AFP 2008 

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