Posts tagged ‘McEwen’
Robbie McEwen found himself in the middle of the Tour de France on Saturday, without actually being part of the race. Currently in Monaco for physiotherapy, the Australian sprinter spent some time in the start/finish area of the Tour’s opening stage, enjoying the meet & greet without having to focus on the bike race.
“I’ve been here since Tuesday, for eight days, visiting my physio who’s based here during the season,” McEwen told to us. “I’ll go back to Belgium on Wednesday, and he’ll come up to visit me. We planned this a couple of weeks ago – it just happened to coincide with the Tour!”
The Katusha rider is currently recovering from breaking his leg in an accident during stage two of the Tour of Belgium, which was his return to racing after being forced to miss the Giro d’Italia through injuries sustained in a crash during the Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen. He is looking forward to a luckier second half of the season, and said his recovery was going to plan.
“It’s going good. I’m getting better every day, starting to ride without pain. I’m already up to about 80-100 kilometres per training ride now, even starting to ride a little bit uphill. So every day, there are little improvements. I should be able to come back to ProTour competition by the middle of August, at the Eneco Tour. Before that, I’ll do a criterium in Belgium on the Tuesday after the Tour, in Diksmuide.”
McEwen admitted that it felt “kinda strange” to be an observer rather than an actor of the Tour, but then again, “I had a long time to get used to the idea that I’m not riding. It does make the town pretty busy, though!”
Hopeful that 2010 will be a more fortunate year for him, the Australian was eager to heal his injury completely in order to prepare to ride Grand Tours again. “That’s my thing – win stages in the Giro and the Tour,” he said. “This year is pretty much a wiped-out year for me, as I couldn’t do the Giro, and then was out of the Tour, too. That’s a huge hole in my season. But right now, it’s just really important that I get back to a good level, and get my leg back to a 100 percent, so that I can do it again next year.”
Three-time maillot vert winner Robbie McEwen rates the contenders in this year’s Tour green jersey competition.
While discussion over the battle for the maillot jaune at this year’s Tour de France has reached fever pitch, there’s still a green jersey up for grabs. We spoke with three-time maillot vert winner Robbie McEwen to get an expert’s view on who will be the man for green in 2009.
McEwen knows more than the average professional about winning the green jersey at the Tour. The likeable Australian has a triumvirate of green triumphs to his name, having won the maillot vert in 2002, 2004 and 2006. He adopts the same meticulous approach to winning the points classification as he does with his preparation in the weeks leading up to those three weeks in July.
He knows which stages he needs to take points on, how much energy to expend and where the classification can be won and lost; essentially, there’s no better man to assess the candidates to succeed where he has in the past. Furthermore, after the retirement of Erik Zabel and before the return of Lance Armstrong, McEwen possessed the highest tally of Tour de France stage wins of any current rider.
With his last win coming in the first stage to Canterbury during the 2007 Tour, Katusha‘s experienced sprinter is still searching for victory number 13, although he’ll have to wait another year before he can have a crack at what’s proving to be an ‘unlucky’ and elusive stage win. An accident during the second stage of the Tour of Belgium meant he’ll be sitting out this year’s edition of la grande boucle.
In the meantime a new world order has emerged amongst the sprinting elite. The rise of British phenomenon Mark Cavendish has ignited a fervour and inflamed the interest of those who love to watch the fast men battle it out for stage supremacy. Comparisons between Cavendish and McEwen have regularly been made and McEwen believes the 23-year-old can take his mantle – for this year, at least – and wear the green jersey in Paris on July 26.
“I still think Cav is the number one man for green this year just because there are 10 flat stages and he’s got the best team,” says McEwen. “He’s likely to build up a lot of points on those stages and it’ll be too hard to overhaul him on just one hilly stage.
“Cav’s going uphill well , too. You don’t even have to go uphill that well – you have to get to the finish in the mountains within the time [limit] and for the rest on the flat stages you’ve just got to score points. That can be enough.”
We asked McEwen what he thinks about the big names likely to be at the pointy end of the race by the finish of the sprinters’ stages at this year’s Tour. While he says it will be a tough battle, he’s clear on who his favourite is.
Injury has plagued Robbie McEwen in 2009 and the Australian has been sidelined through injury for a significant part of the season thus far. With a comeback date announced, Katusha‘s experienced sprinter has his sights firmly set on racing the second half of this season and through 2010 while remaining philosophical about missing the second Grand Tour of the year, the Tour de France.
McEwen and several others from the team hesitated to sign the anti-doping agreement which would punish riders with a fine of five times their salary if they were found positive. The policy was instituted after Austrian Christian Pfannberger tested positive earlier this year.
After the policy was presented to the riders, Antonio Colom became the second Katusha rider to test positive following targeted testing by the UCI. Colom also refused to sign the charter.
“I want it clearly understood that I am absolutely anti-doping,” said McEwen.
“Now that the details have been sorted out I can concentrate fully on my comeback and get back to racing and winning with my teammates as soon as possible.”
McEwen suffered a broken tibia in a run-in with a road sign during the Tour of Belgium 2009 last month. It was initially feared that the sign had sliced through important tendons and ligaments, but the damage turned out to be less severe, and McEwen was able to pedal on a stationary trainer for the first time this week.
After earlier reports of Team Katusha‘s new anti-doping contract clause being refused by Robbie McEwen and two other teammates, the Australian has issued a clarification statement.
“I am not against an addendum to my contract with Katusha in relation to anti-doping as such,” said McEwen on his website, adding that he was merely examining the new clause under legal aspects before wanting to sign them.
The addendum states that riders will have to pay a fine of five times their annual salary in the event of a sanction given for doping offenses.
“I have been legally advised that the terms of the addendum to the contract are not judicially correct as well as being too vague and broad in their definition of what constitutes a breach, as there is no reference to existing official anti-doping guidelines.”
“I fully support the principles behind the anti-doping stance of my team and when the issues concerning the details of the addendum are clarified, I will add my weight to the Katusha Team campaign.”
He also stated that contrary to what had been reported, a number of other riders of his team had not yet signed the new contract clause. “Andrei Tchmil claims that except for [Gert] Steegmans, McEwen and [Kenny] De Haes everyone else has signed which is actually not true,” he said. “A number of other riders have not signed the annex including Toni Colom and Joan Horrach.”
McEwen is currently healing a knee injury, hoping to come back to racing in the second half of the season.
fter being denied on stage two and taking his chances in a breakaway on stage one, Australian Robbie McEwen finally got the win he was looking for in stage three of the Tour de Picardie. Coming to the line ahead of his lead-out man Danilo Napolitano, the Katusha pair left the rest of the sprinters in their wake.
Under a light drizzle, the 112 remaining riders lined up for the first of two stages on Sunday. At the top of the first climb of the day, the Côte de Pont St. Mard (5 km), Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Diquigiovanni) took the points ahead of Alexandre Usov (Cofidis ) and Kristoff Vandewalle (Topsport Vlaanderen).
A breakaway formed at km 16 with four riders: Damien Gaudin (Bouygues Telecom), Rémy Cusin (AG2R), Andreï Amador (Caisse d’Epargne ) and Jimmy Engoulvent (Besson Chaussures). The quartet fought to stay clear, but lost Gaudin after 9km. He was replaced by is taken up by the peloton while Florian Guillou (Roubaix Lille Metropole), who had bridged to the move.
Finally, the four edged out 30 seconds on the bunch by the sprint in Manicamp (km 30.5), which was won by Engoulvent. But the sprint-hungry peloton never allowed the leaders to gain a minute. Guillou took the summit of the Côte de Bethancourt en Vaux before the peloton reeled them in close enough for Anthony Ravard (AG2R) and Sébastien Joly (FdJ) to get across.
Amador flatted out of the break, but the move had been doomed from the start and were brought back into the fold with 3km to go. Joly gave a valient solo effort, but Katusha controlled the pace to bring the peloton together for the final sprint. McEwen won handily ahead of his teammate Napolitano and the Italian Mattia Gavazzi (Diquigiovanni).
“It was important for me to come back into form soon after my fall in the Scheldeprijs that cost me my place in the Giro,” said McEwen. “It’s really important for a sprinter to win races.”
The finish was almost usurped by a rider from Caisse d’Epargne, but Napolitano quickly got onto his wheel, and McEwen and his teammate sprinted side by side to the line with the Italian respecting the prescribed order and taking second. “This afternoon, it may be Napolitano‘s turn,” said McEwen.
1 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team Katusha 1.55.03 (44.07 km/h) 2 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Team Katusha 3 Mattia Gavazzi (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli 4 Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne 5 Stéphane Bonsergent (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller 6 Romain Feillu (Fra) Agritubel 7 Alexandre Usov (Blr) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 8 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom 9 Kevin Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago 10 Alberto Loddo (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli
1 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 3.52.09 (46.263 km/h) 2 Jimmy Casper (Fra) Besson Chaussures-Sojasun 0.28 3 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Team Katusha 4 Kristof Goddaert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator 5 Romain Feillu (Fra) Agritubel 6 Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Caisse D’Epargne 7 Robert Wagner (Ger) Skil-Shimano 8 Anthony Ravard (Fra) Agritubel 9 Nadir Haddou (Fra) Auber 93 10 Florian Guillou (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole