It's a picture that is still clear to many of those who saw it: the sixth stage of the Tour de France 2004, Gerolsteiner's Rene Haselbacher crashed in the sprint finale, taking many of his rivals down with him. And as Haselbacher lay on the ground, writing in pain from multiple broken bones, Robbie McEwen stood over him and cursed him out. "Up until that point we had a normal cycling friendship," says Haselbacher. "But afterwards we had no more contact." But time heals all wounds, and friendship has been established again.
At a party in Salzburg following the World Championships, "Robbie came to me and apologized. It was a very nice gesture and made me very happy," according to Haselbacher. "I have always had a lot of respect for him, he is one of the best spritners and a great athlete."