Forum home Road cycling forum Pro race

Robbie McEwen hits out at drug 'idiots'

SchmidthouseSchmidthouse Posts: 134
edited January 2009 in Pro race
http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/ ... 88,00.html


AUSTRALIAN cycling great Robbie McEwen has two beefs as he begins another tough year in the saddle.

First is that the "few idiots" using drugs are ruining the reputation of the sport and that Australia's up-and-coming road cyclists are no longer being funded as money is ploughed into track riders to prepare them for the London Olympics.

McEwen, 36, is an elder statesman of the sport, a winner of 12 sprint stages of the Tour de France and a six-time winner of the Bay Classic.

He will compete in the 20th Classic this week.

He has no intention of retiring - "I have a couple of years left in me, at least" - and he'd love to depart with the sport, especially in Australia, at the top and free of controversy.

As for the drug controversies at the world's premier event, the Tour de France, McEwen is curt in his dismissal of those who are caught.

"There is always some idiot who thinks he can outsmart the drug officials and they are weak riders who are ruining it for everyone," he said.

"But to suggest the sport is rife with drugs is total nonsense. Almost all of us are doing it clean and we, as a sport, will come back and prove ourselves clean and great sportsmen."

As he enters the twilight of his career, McEwen feels Australian cycling has a great chance to propel itself on the international road racing circuit.

"Australia has a very good international reputation. It would be great to have an all-Australian team compete internationally. I don't think it is a dream, and it would be great if it happened.

"As it is we probably would rate fourth or fifth in the world in professional cycling.

"We have some good young riders coming through but, unfortunately, the national program has been closed.

"All the funds are being directed to the track riders because of their poor showing in Beijing as they prepare for the London Olympics.

"You'd hope that changes because we make a huge impact on the international road circuit and we shouldn't jeopardise our future there by depriving young cyclists of funding opportunities."

McEwen, who hopes to win an early stage of the Bay Classic and put himself into contention for overall honours, is slowly gaining appropriate fitness.

"I'm feeling good. I had a break in November and I've been back in training for five weeks," he said.

"You build up endurance with age and if you look after yourself you can keep going. I have a couple of years left in me, at least.

"I didn't win a stage in the Tour de France this year but the team was set up to give Cadel Evans the best chance of taking the overall title, which he almost did."

In the Classic, McEwen will be pitted against Baden Cooke, Stuart O'Grady, US criterium champion Rahsaan Bahati and defending champion Mark Renshaw, who will be trying to emulate McEwen's feat of a hat-trick of wins.

The Bay Classic, sponsored by caravan manufacturer Jayco, starts in Williamstown on Friday then moves Geelong's Eastern Gardens, Portarlington and has an evening finish at the Geelong waterfront on Tuesday week.
There's no time for hesitating.
Pain is ready, pain is waiting.
Primed to do it's educating.

Posts

  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Why can't McEwan accept that he's no longer got the speed for sprinting and should use his experience, endurance & guile to greater effect in 1-day races?
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Dave_1Dave_1 Posts: 9,512
    Festina 98 followed by operation puerto 9 years later hardly suggest that lot Mcewan defends are mostly clean....mostly a pack of doped liars is how I feel at times looking back over the decade...

    and likewise, I think Cavendish will encourage RM to retire much sooner...I
  • Monty Dog wrote:
    Why can't McEwen accept that he's no longer got the speed for sprinting and should use his experience, endurance & guile to greater effect in 1-day races?

    Big Big call :roll: Are you saying that he can't sprint anymore? That's he's too slow!!!! Sure Cavendidh was a standout this year, but to say McEwen has no longer got the speed for sprinting is so far off the mark it's not funny....... If I remember correctly he still won this year and some good races, me thinks you might be rethinking your words later on in 2009. To say he's too slow for sprinting anymore is laughable, that must mean that pettachi, hushovd, boonen etc must be too slow, cause cavendish whipped them too, but I wouldn't say any of them are slow.
  • afx237viafx237vi Posts: 12,630
    Monty Dog wrote:
    Why can't McEwen accept that he's no longer got the speed for sprinting and should use his experience, endurance & guile to greater effect in 1-day races?

    What type of 1-day races? He's never been anywhere even close in Milan San-Remo and he doesn't really have the power or the build for the cobbles.

    He does well in the shorter one-dayers already - he won the Vattenfall Classic (aka the Hamburg GP) this year and won the Paris-Brussels for the 4th time in a row (not in a bunch sprint).

    I think it's fair to say he's clearly lost some of his top end speed, but it's too early to write him off completely. He beat Bennati in Romandie this year and beat Freire two days in a row in the Tour de Suisse. He's not as fast as he was, but he can still win races.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    But he's ambitious to expect Katusha to put together a lead-out train to finish somewhere in the top 10? Many riders who were eminent sprinters in their youth e.g. Museeuw, Jalabert and Zabel continued to apply their knowledge and experience to win 1-day races, whereas McEwan has few results of note outside of stage races. I don't hear anything that suggests he's got the abilities to beat the likes of Columbia.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    He's a sneaky rider who can get himself into a position to win. Thanks to these skills, In past seasons, he might win one in every five sprints he contested, now the ratio is down. He knows it and that's partly why he's taking Russian roubles. He'll probably be second fiddle to Steegmans anyway.

    As for "hitting out at drugs idiots", is he willing to condemn his Silence-Lotto team with their doping doctors and several positive EPO tests on the squad whilst he was on board?
  • eheh Posts: 4,854
    Who needs drugs when your blood type is the same as Nick Gates allegedly,
  • eh wrote:
    Who needs drugs when your blood type is the same as Nick Gates allegedly,
    :D
    :D:D:D
    Dan
Sign In or Register to comment.