Cadel Evans is impressed with the sprinting form of key Australian rider Matt Goss ahead of the Olympics road race.
Evans and Goss will be teammates for the July 28 race, which will be a day after the opening ceremony and one of the showpiece events of the Games.
All five members of the Australian team are racing at the Tour de France and Evans has seen close up how Goss is shaping for the Games.
Goss will be Australia's medal-winning option if the road race ends with a group sprint.
The other members of the team are Mick Rogers, Stuart O'Grady and Simon Gerrans.
"I'm really impressed with how Goss is riding - of course, Rogers is strong," Evans said.
"But Goss is really coming up and the fact he could be there in the group on that little uphill finish the other day, that was a pleasant surprise."
Goss has managed several top placings in sprint stages at the Tour, but is yet to crack a win.
Great British world champion Mark Cavendish, who has won a stage in this Tour, is the world's top sprinter and is the gold medal favourite.
But there is no guarantee that the race will come down to a bunch kick that would suit riders such as Goss and Cavendish.
The nine laps of the Box Hill circuit in Surrey midway through the race could splinter the field.
"The road race is going to be really unpredictable, so it's a hard one to plan for," Evans said.
Evans and Rogers will be teammates less than a week after being arch-rivals at the Tour.
Rogers has been a key lieutenant for Sky team leader Brad Wiggins, who is on track to become the first British cyclist to win the Tour.
Evans and Rogers are also likely to ride in the road time trial at the Games on August 1.
While the five Olympic teammates have had an occasional chat in the peloton during the Tour, Evans said he and Rogers were somewhat restricted in what they can discuss.
"Most of the Australians have a good rapport anyway," Evans said.
"Mick is on an opposing team and for professional reasons he probably can't let on too much about how he's going."I will probably be in the room with him for the time trial ... we'll have plenty of time to catch up then."
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