Dimension Data rider Nathan Haas is heartbroken he wasn’t picked in the n men’s road race team to try and help fellow Canberran Michael Matthews win the world title.
Despite the Bergen course in Norway suiting him, Haas was overlooked from the nine-man team, which has been built with the express purpose of helping Matthews to victory.
Matthews is one of the favourites to win the rainbow jersey, along with two-time reigning world-champion Peter Sagan.
Haas has been doing altitude training partly in a bid to get selected for the worlds, but was “pretty hurt” by the reasons he was given for his omission.
Especially since he wanted to be there to help Matthews become just ‘s second ever male world champion, with Cadel Evans breaking the drought in 2009.
“That was a big part of why I was sitting up on top of mountains, spending a lot of money, a lot of time away from home and my partner,” he told Cyclingnews.
“I’m going to use the word ‘very disappointing’ … I was pretty heartbroken actually.
“Michael Matthews and I grew up together in the same town and the reasons why I wasn’t given a spot I was pretty hurt by because I don’t feel it was fair. But it’s not my decision to make.”
Haas didn’t want to reveal the reasons given, but was disappointed he didn’t figure in any of Cycling ‘s plans.
Another Canberra cyclist, Chloe Hosking, was overlooked for the women’s team, but her appeal will be heard on Tuesday.
Cycling has been widely criticised for their women’s team selection after they named just five riders when their world ranking of three meant they could take a team of seven.
Two-time n champion Kimberley Wells labelled the decision “highly sexist”.
It had the female cyclists wondering how Cycling viewed them and Haas had similar thoughts following his omission.
“It’s not up for me to discuss those reasons, they’re entitled to those opinions, they’re the ones making a selection for the race and making a strategy,” Haas said.
“I was still pretty blown away that I didn’t fit into any of the strategies.
“Knowing that there’s nine guys and knowing I’m the [fourth] highest n in the WorldTour rankings and it’s a course that suits my exact abilities, I was sitting there pretty dumbfounded if I’m honest.
“Always makes me wonder sort of where I sit in the eyes of Cycling , which is upsetting because I feel like I’ve put in six pretty good years as a professional and to not be taken, it’s hard because I want to be there.
“Not only for myself but for a good friend in ‘Bling’.”