An interview with Robbie McEwen

"The secret of my win today might be the fact that yesterday we had a great evening in our hotel...

Keeping it in the family

"The secret of my win today might be the fact that yesterday we had a great evening in our hotel near Liège. Everybody's family and friends came over for the night. We were like a big family, because there were more than 60 people over there.

"I think it has boosted the morale of everybody in the team. The fact that our team bus is damaged again can't take that away," smiled McEwen after his tenth Tour de France stage win, intent on keeping the green jersey in the Davitamon-Lotto family. Brecht Decaluwé reports from Saint-Quentin.

Q: It was remarkable to see how convincingly you won. Did you feel so strong, or were the others showing weaknesses?

Robbie McEwen: I saw in the road book that this finish suited me perfectly to my characteristics as a sprinter, being slightly uphill and with a slight corner to the left with 200 metres to go. I had a tactic in my head already since last Wednesday for this sprint.

I told Steegmans what we would gonna do with about 100km to go. I told him just to keep listening to me, and just wait for me to give him the signal. He almost took off too early, but I got him back on the rails.

We waited until 450 meters to go and from then we came out of the wheels. We went flat out, and imagined that the finish line was at 200 meters to go. He did exactly to the letter what I said. It made it simple for me, but I didn't dare to look around. Now I saw on TV that there was nobody in the neighbourhood. I want to dedicate this victory to Freddy [Rodriguez], who had to abandon yesterday.

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