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Robert "Robbie" McEwen AM (born 24 June 1972 in Brisbane, Queensland) is a former Australian professional road cycling rider. He last rode for Orica–GreenEDGE on the UCI World Tour.[1][2] Robbie is a three-time winner of the Tour de France points classification and, at the peak of his career, was considered one of the world's fastest sprinters.

Robbie McEwen
Robbie McEwen, 2013 Tour Down Under (cropped).jpg
McEwen at the 2013 Tour Down Under
Personal information
Full nameRobert McEwen
NicknameRocket Robbie, The Scarlet Pimpernel
Born (1972-06-24) 24 June 1972 (age 47)
Brisbane, Australia
Height1.71 m (5 ft 7 12 in)
Weight67 kg (148 lb; 10 st 8 lb)
Team information
Current teamRetired
DisciplineRoad
RoleTechnical adviser/sprint coach
Professional team(s)
1996–1999Rabobank
2000–2001Domo-Farm Frites
2002–2008Lotto–Adecco
2009–2010Team Katusha
2011Team RadioShack
2012GreenEDGE
Managerial team(s)
2012–2013Orica–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

National Road Race Championships (2002, 2005)
Paris–Brussels (2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)
Scheldeprijs (2002)
Vattenfall Cyclassics (2008)
Dwars door Vlaanderen (2003)

A former Australian BMX champion, McEwen switched to road cycling in 1990 at 18 years of age. 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, McEwen published an autobiography entitled ‘One Way Road’. McEwen lived for many years in the Belgian town of Everbeek and is fluent in Dutch.

Robbie retired from the World Tour after riding the 2012 Tour of California[3] and is now an occasional cyclist journalist, commentating on the Tour Down Under[4] and the Tour de France.[5]

Contents

CareerEdit

 
McEwen at the 2006 Bay Cycling Classic

After four years of moving through the regional, state and national levels of cycling, McEwen started at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra under 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.

Robbie competed in the road race at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games (23rd) and the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games (19th).[6] 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 Athens Olympic Games (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 Male Road Cyclist of the Year. After spending 16 seasons racing for foreign teams (Dutch: Rabobank & Farm Frites; Belgian: Lotto; Russian: Katusha; USA: RadioShack), Robbie signed for the new Australian GreenEDGE[1] team in September 2011 after it gained a ProTeam licence for the 2012 season.

Tour de FranceEdit

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

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 Tour de France points classification. By 2006, McEwen had won the Tour de France green points jersey 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 win the green jersey from German legend Erik Zabel, with O’Grady third and Cooke fourth. In 2004, McEwen won the points classification for a second time, defeating Hushovd and Erik Zabel. McEwen had fractured two transverse 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 Points classification in the 2006 Tour de France, 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.[7] After retiring from racing, McEwen remained with Orica-GreenEDGE as a technical adviser and sprint coach.[8]

CommentatingEdit

In 2017, 2018 and 2019, Robbie McEwen commentated on the Tour de France's world feed in English, alongside fellow Australian Matthew Keenan.[5][9]

Sprinting styleEdit

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, McEwen 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.

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

Major resultsEdit

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

RecognitionEdit

In 2015, he was an inaugural Cycling Australia Hall of Fame inductee.[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Hinds, Alex (1 September 2011). "McEwen and Beppu to GreenEdge". Cycling News. Future Publishing Limited. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  2. ^ "McEwen's career comes full circle - from Tour DuPont to Los Angeles". Cycling News. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Robbie McEwen Retires". Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  4. ^ Maniaty, Peter (7 December 2015). "After Life: Jens Voigt, Phil Anderson & Robbie McEwen". Bicycling Australia. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  5. ^ a b "It's a new era for SBS and the Tour de France". sbs.com.au. Special Broadcasting Service. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Robbie McEwen". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 28 August 2011.
  7. ^ "Robert Gesink: From broken leg to Tour of California win". Orange County Register. Associated Press. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  8. ^ Weislo, Laura (17 May 2016). "McEwen's career comes full circle - from Tour DuPont to Los Angeles". cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  9. ^ "SBS makes changes to Tour de France coverage". news.com.au. news.com.au. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  10. ^ "Inaugural Cycling Australia Hall of Fame inductees". Cycling Australia. Retrieved 12 November 2015.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit