Chewin' the fat with McEwen
Arriving at the press conference in Vitré chirpy and chatty as ever, Robbie McEwen spoke about his personal TGV, his self-confessed obsessive compulsive disorder, and his Dumb and Dumber victory salute, amongst other things. Cyclingnews' Brecht Decaluwé was there to take it all down.
Q: Can you explain to us what Steegmans adds to your sprint?
RM: It depends on the other sprinters and the other teams exactly how we do it. This year, we lost Fred Rodriguez fairly early. With Gert Steegmans, we had to figure out the right system and timing, as we didn't ride that much together this year.
The first time we tried it, I gave him a really specific tactic in stage 4; he listened well and did it and we won. Yesterday, he made a mistake and he was really motivated to make up for it today. Again, he did it perfectly.
We decided on the tactics. I told him not to start not one metre before the 400 metre mark. That's exactly what he did, he was really relaxed and stayed in the wheels. We made sure which side of him would stay open. When he started, I really had to jump to get into his wheel and when I have to jump to get into a wheel, that means that probably nobody else can follow.
I already had a good feeling when he took off. I just had to keep it winded up until the line. It looks like he's my personal TGV. I'm the only one with a ticket and I just have to get off at my station! (laughs)
Q: Do you think you're in the form of your life at the moment, and if so, what do you think is the secret to it?
RM: I don't think I'm in the form of my life, I'm just sprinting very well. I've had times where I actually felt stronger out on the road. But here, the timing and the speed in the sprint forms a funny sort of thing. Sometimes you feel very strong, but you can't win. Sometimes you feel average, but you sprint very fast and can't lose. I don't know about the form of my life, but it's pretty good.