Robbie McEwen brings the first win for Katusha
Australian Robbie McEwen, of the Katusha team, claimed the victory honours in the 51km inner city criterium which traditionally precedes the Tour Down Under here.
But all eyes were on the 37-year-old Texan who famously battled cancer in 1998 before going on to win a record seven yellow jerseys at the Tour de France between 1999-2005.
Although Armstrong’s official comeback will take place at the race’s first stage proper on Tuesday — the criterium here is not an International Cycling Union (UCI) sanctioned race — the American still courted plenty of attention.
An estimated crowd of over 130,000, according to organisers, turned out to watch proceedings, with crowd favourite McEwen stunning a strong Columbia team with a late surge at the finish line.