Canberra cyclist Nathan Haas thinks the "discord" between Simon Gerrans and his Orica-GreenEDGE teammates throws the men's road race at the Australian championships in Ballarat wide open.
While he thinks two-time Australian champ Gracie Elvin can win the women's, he's tipping her Orica-AIS teammate Lizzie Williams to salute.
Haas joined African team Dimension Data on a two-year deal during the off-season.
He said everyone riding the nationals would still only be at "85-90 per cent" fitness in the lead-up to the first professional race of the year, South Australia's Tour Down Under.
Concerns of a rift at Orica emerged after last year's world championships in the US when Canberra young gun Michael Matthews wished Gerrans had ridden for him, instead of sprinting against him.
As a result, Haas felt there could still be lingering tension in the Orica camp, which normally has the biggest number of riders of any of the professional teams.
The 26-year-old said Gerrans would be hungry to win the Aussie title after injury ruined his campaign last year.
Haas felt it was wide open, with many potential winners, including himself, in the field.
Part of his build-up to the nationals was riding from family Christmas Eve celebrations in Bowral to Christmas lunch in Canberra - roughly the same distance as Sunday's race.
"There's enough discord there between Gerrans and Matthews to the point I think that might be why Matthews isn't at the national championships," Haas said.
"It's not the perfect camp over there [at Orica], which might play into the hands of a few of the other teams with less riders."
Fellow Canberran Elvin is looking to reclaim the title she won back-to-back in 2013-14.
The 27-year-old goes in with good form after her win at the Bay Cycling Classic in Geelong last week.
Haas said she was a definite chance to win her third crown, but felt her teammate Williams might claim the jersey.
Williams spent time in the Australian Institute of Sport's altitude house over the summer preparing for the year ahead.
"Gracie is obviously a demon on that course, she's won it twice," he said.
"She's obviously in good form, but I think maybe the bigger threats are going to come from within her own team.
"Lizzie Williams showed some incredible form at the Bay Crits as well on a flat course and she was also climbing well.
"I know she did a big altitude block of training at the AIS in Canberra so she's very motivated."
Haas was looking forward to helping propel the "Manx Missile" this year.
Mark Cavendish is his new teammate at Dimension Data, along with Bathurst's Mark Renshaw.
Cavendish is one of the best sprinters in world cycling and Renshaw made his name as the Manx Missile's lead-out man.
While Haas will also form part of that chain, he's also there to do his own job, which will see him go head to head with Matthews during the Spring Classics.
"Everything is just a build-up towards the Classics, so Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-San Remo are going to be the early goals and then coming back up to my favourite race, the Amstel Gold," Haas said.
"It'll be me, hopefully, taking on another Canberran Michael Matthews in his favourite race, Amstel Gold, as well.
"I think between us we can maybe win it one day."