Robbie McEwen

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Robbie McEwen
Robbie McEwen, 2013 Tour Down Under (cropped).jpg
McEwen at the 2013 Tour Down Under
Personal information
Full name Robbie McEwen
Nickname Rocket Robbie
Born (1972-06-24) 24 June 1972 (age 42)
Brisbane, Australia
Height 1.71 m (5 ft 7 in)
Weight 67 kg (148 lb; 10.6 st)
Team information
Current team Orica-GreenEDGE
Discipline Road
Role Technical advisor/sprint coach
Professional team(s)
  • 1996–1999
  • 2000–2001
  • 2002–2008
  • 2009–2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
Managerial team(s)
2012– Orica-GreenEDGE
Major wins

Grand Tours

Tour de France
Points classification (2002, 2004, 2006)
12 individual stages
Giro d'Italia
12 individual stages

One-day races and Classics

Paris–Brussels (2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)
Grote Scheldeprijs (2002)
Vattenfall Cyclassics (2008)
Dwars door Vlaanderen (2003)
National Road Race Championships (2002, 2005)
Infobox last updated on
2 May 2012

Robbie McEwen (born 24 June 1972 in Brisbane, Queensland) is an Australian former professional road bicycle racer. He last rode for Orica-GreenEDGE on the UCI World Tour,[1] and is now a technical advisor for the team.[2] As a triple winner of the Tour de France's green jersey points classification, at his peak he was arguably the fastest sprinter in the world.

A former Australian BMX champion, McEwen switched to road racing in 1990 at 18. He raced as a professional from 1996 until 2012. McEwen lives in Australia with his Belgian wife Angélique Pattyn, his son Ewan, and his daughters Elena and Claudia. In 2011 he published an autobiography, One Way Road. McEwen has lived a long time in the Belgian town of Everbeek and is fluent in Dutch.

He retired from the World Tour after riding the 2012 Tour of California.[3]

Career[edit]

McEwen at the 2006 Bay Cycling Classic

After 4 years of moving through the regional, state & national levels of cycling, McEwen started at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra under the A.I.S. road cycling coach Heiko Salzwedel. The first signs of his sprinting prowess on the international stage were at the "Peace Race", winning three stages for the Australian National team.

He competed in the road race at the 1996 Summer Olympics (23rd) and the 2000 Summer Olympics (19th).[4] He was also included on the Australian team for the 1994 UCI Road Cycling World Championship in Italy, and the 2002 UCI Road Cycling World Championship in Belgium where he won a silver medal. McEwen was again selected for Australia at the 2004 Summer Olympics (11th) as part of the road race team.

McEwen was named 2002 Australian Cyclist of the Year, 2002 Male Road Cyclist of the Year and 1999 Australia Male Road Cyclist of the Year. After spending 16 seasons racing for foreign teams (Dutch - Rabobank & Farm Frites, Belgian - Lotto, Russian - Katusha, USA - RadioShack) in September 2011 he signed the new Australian team GreenEDGE,[1] which obtained a ProTeam licence for the 2012 season.

Tour de France[edit]

McEwen has participated in the Tour de France 12 times, in 1997 (117th), 1998 (89th), 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010. He has had 12 stage wins. In 1999 on stage 20 he won the sprint in Paris on the Champs-Elysées. In 2002 he won stage 3: Metz – Reims and stage 20: Melun – Paris. In 2004 he won stages 3 and 9. In 2005 he won stage 5 to Montargis, stage 7 to Karlsruhe in Germany and stage 13 to Montpellier. In 2006 he won stages 2, 4 and 6 to Esch-sur-Alzette, St Quentin and Vitré.

He started the 2007 Tour with a victorious sprint on stage 1 to Canterbury. The stage win was seen as remarkable as he had crashed with 20 kilometres (12 mi) to go. He injured his knee and wrist but with the help of his team he clawed his way back to the bunch to win the sprint by over a bike length. The injuries he sustained from this crash did not prevent him from continuing but eventually he was forced out of the race when the Tour entered the Mountains, his knee injury became worse and he failed to finish stage eight within the time limit.

In 2002 McEwen became the first Australian to win the Maillot vert (green jersey) overall Points (or Sprint) Classification of the Tour de France. By 2006, McEwen had won the sprinters' green jersey points competition three times in this race, in 2002, 2004 and again in 2006, defeating rivals such as fellow Australians Baden Cooke and Stuart O'Grady, and international competitors like Erik Zabel of Germany, Tom Boonen of Belgium and Thor Hushovd of Norway.

McEwen's first win in the 2002 Tour de France saw him take the green jersey from Zabel, with O’Grady third and Cooke fourth. In 2004 McEwen won the green jersey for a second time, defeating Hushovd and Erik Zabel. McEwen had fractured two tranverse process (vertebrae) in a mass pile up on stage 6 and continued the race in extreme pain, making his stage 9 win in Gueret all the more remarkable.

McEwen won his third and final green jersey in 2006, this time with Zabel second and Hushovd third.

In 2012, he announced that the Tour of California would be the last professional race of his career. He struggled to reach the finishing line of the mountain stages in the gruppetto. He humorously said after his arrival on the final stage in Los Angeles: "This was a good race to pick as my last because I suffered so much this week I won't miss it." He was awarded the "Most Courageous Rider" jersey at the end of the race to commemorate his last day of professional cycling.[5]

Sprinting Style[edit]

McEwen was known as a particularly cunning and tactical sprinter. Where many teams would use 'Lead-Out Trains' to secure a stage win for their selected sprinter, Robbie achieved many of his victories either with one lead-out man, or often none at all, by aggressively and intelligently positioning himself within the peloton in the final kilometres. Although clearly being an accomplished sprinter, it is interesting to note that McEwen himself was never extolled in media circles as the fastest sprinter in the world, despite having consistently beaten those afforded the moniker, such as Alessandro Petacchi, Mario Cipollini and Erik Zabel.

Fellow Australian cyclist Stuart O'Grady considers Robbie to be "one of the fastest, most powerful accelerators the planet has ever seen".

Palmares[edit]

2011
1st Stage 4 Tour de Wallonie
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Tour de Wallonie-Picarde
1st Stage 1 & 4
2nd Tour de Mumbai
2010
1st Stage 1 Vuelta a Mallorca
1st Stage 1 Eneco Tour
2nd Grote Scheldeprijs
2nd Memorial Rik Van Steenbergen
2009
1st Down Under Classic
1st Stage 2 Vuelta a Mallorca
1st Stage 3 Tour de Picardie
2008
1st Stage 2 Tour de Romandie
Tour de Suisse
1st Stage 3 & 4
1st Vattenfall Cyclassics
1st Paris–Brussels
2007
1st Stage 1 Tour de France
1st Stage 5 Tour de Suisse
1st Stage 2 Giro d'Italia
1st Stage 1 Tour de Romandie
1st Stage 1 Tirreno–Adriatico
1st Stage 5 Tour Down Under
1st Stage 3 Jayco Bay Classic
1st Stage 3 Eneco Tour
1st Paris–Brussels
2006
1st Jersey green.svg Sprint Classification Tour de France
1st Stage 2, 4 & 6
Giro d'Italia
1st Stage 2, 4 & 6
1st Paris–Brussels
1st Jacobs Creek Classic
1st Aalst Criterium BEL
2005
1st MaillotAustralia.PNG Australian National Road Race Championships
1st Paris–Brussels
Tour de France
1st Stage 5, 7 & 13
1st Stage 4 Tour de Suisse
Giro d'Italia
1st Stage 2, 6 & 10
Held Maglia Rosa Jersey pink.svg from Stages 2–3
Tour Down Under
1st Stage 1, 2 & 6
1st GP de Fourmies
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Bay Classic
1st Stage 1 & 4
2004
1st Jersey green.svg Sprint Classification Tour de France
1st Stage 2 & 9
Held Maillot Jaune Jersey yellow.svg from Stages 2–3
1st Stage 5 Giro d'Italia
Tour de Suisse
1st Stage 2 & 4
Tour Down Under
1st Stage 1 & 4
1st Jersey green.svg Sprint Classification
1st Aalst Criterium
1st Memorial Samyn-Fayt-le-Franc
1st Wateringse Wielerdag
1st Spektakel van Steenwijk
1st Profronde van Ooostvoorne
1st Gouden Pijl
2003
Giro d'Italia
1st Stage 4 & 11
1st Stage 2 Tour de Suisse
1st Stage 4 Étoile de Bessèges
1st Dwars door Vlaanderen Waregem
1st Stage 3 Tour Down Under
2002
1st MaillotAustralia.PNG Australian National Road Race Championships
1st Jersey green.svg Sprint Classification Tour de France
1st Stage 3 & 20
Giro d'Italia
1st Stage 4 & 10
Paris–Nice
1st Stage 2 & 7
1st Paris–Brussels
Tour Down Under
1st Stage 1, 3, 4 & 6
1st Jersey green.svg Sprint Classification
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Étoile de Bessèges
1st Stage 1
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Circuit Franco-Belge
1st Stage 2 & 3
1st Grote Scheldeprijs
1st Delta Profronde
1st RaboRonde Heerlen
2001
1st Trofeo Palmanova-Palmanova
1st Circuit de Brabant Wallon
1st Stage 2 Ronde van Nederland
1st Stage 4 Tour de la Région Wallonne
1st Stage 2 Tour Méditerranéen
Herald Sun Tour
1st Stage 3 & 4
International Uniqa Classic
1st Stage 2 & 3
1st Stage 5 Challenge Mallorca
2000
1st Stage 6 Tour Down Under
1st Trofeo Cala Millor
1999
1st Stage 20 Tour de France
1st Stage 2 Ronde van Nederland
1st Stage 2 Tour de Luxembourg
1st Stage 1a Route du Sud
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Geelong Bay Classic Series
1st Stage 1, 4 & 5
1998
Ronde van Nederland
1st Stage 3a & 5
1st Trofeo Alcudia
1st Stage 1 Vuelta a Andalucía
1st Stage 5 Geelong Bay Classic Series
1997
1st in Noosa International Criterium
Ronde van Nederland
1st Stage 2 & 3a
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Geelong Bay Classic Series
1st Stage 1, 2 & 4
1st Stage 2 Four Days of Dunkirk
1st Stage 3 Tour de Luxembourg
1996
1st Stage 4 Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia
1st Stage 3b Regio-Tour International

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hinds, Alex (1 September 2011). "McEwen and Beppu to GreenEdge". Cycling News (Future Publishing Limited). Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  2. ^ http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/mcewens-career-comes-full-circle-from-tour-dupont-to-los-angeles
  3. ^ "Robbie McEwen Retires". Retrieved 2012-05-20. 
  4. ^ "Robbie McEwen". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 2011-08-28. 
  5. ^ "Robert Gesink: From broken leg to Tour of California win". Associated Press (MSNBC). May 21, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]