As Australian star Caleb Ewan steps up to the WorldTour in 2015 with Orica-Greenedge, his coach and national selector Bradley McGee has had to leave the rider due to a "conflict of interests".
"As Australian head coach and with Caleb on the long list of potential national team riders, I have to be careful there," McGee told Cyclingnews.
"I can't coach any of those athletes. As national selector it's a conflict of interest."
"That is why I spent time in October, away from the hustle and bustle of it all in down town Bowral over a couple of long coffees," McGee said. "The most important thing is that [Ewan] is well catered for and feels confident in the support he is going to get."
"I am more than encouraged with how [Orica-GreenEdge] have set up and prepared the race program for him for next year. The general support and direction is fantastic."
"It is as good as I could have hoped. It's also in my interest [as national selector] that they are all tracking well and improving, but I can't solely focus on any one [rider]."
He will leave the talented Aussie in the care of AIS Sports scientist Paolo Menaspa and McGee says that the Spaniard has already had a positive effect on Ewan’s development as a rider.
"Paolo has been a big part of the Under 23 program since Caleb has been there, so [his appointment as his regular trainer from now on at Orica-GreenEDGE] is more about re-badging really … He is a sports scientist and very well in touch. I rate him."
McGee said until now his own role as Ewan's coach had been more about "getting him through the pre-season" and that once Ewan was in Europe he was "under the guidance" of Menaspà" while: "I just took a back seat and monitored from a far."
The Future Looks Bright
McGee looks back fondly on the Ponferrada world championships, where Simon Gerrans took home silver in the road race and Rohan Dennis was fifth in the time trial.
"It was all very encouraging. It was great, but now I realise that the real work starts now."
McGee says he has no regrets about Gerrans winning the sprint in Ponferrada but Michal Kwiatkowski had soloed to win just one second earlier, although his gap was reduced due to extensive celebrating.
"You have to celebrate the amazing things that happened there," McGee said.
"'Gerro' had been in outstanding condition, along with all the other Australian riders. "They all presented themselves in top nick. What I admired most was how they all co-ordinated their efforts. They were very clear in what they were doing as individuals and as a collective. They made fantastic decisions about the philosophy and strategy we had all worked on. That was in the heat of battle, 200km into a world title race. I applaud that. I look forward to the next couple of years in the World Championships."
McGee can already start to decide who he wants to choose from for the Richmond Worlds in 2015, but he isn’t sure of exactly what the road race course will be for the Rio Olympics in 2016.
"We are still waiting for final confirmation of the [Games] road course," McGee said. "It went one way. Now there has been a re-coil on that. I am waiting for it to be locked in stone before I go too far."
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