Predictor-Lotto sprinter Robbie McEwen is looking to re-ignite his spring campaign after injury and a recent bout of flu and will start Gent-Wevelgem with an eye to honing his sprinting legs for the Giro d'Italia. "As I'm starting, then I aim to win," McEwen told Sporza Radio about his ambitions for Wednesday's semi-classic.
Last Saturday, while most Classics riders were resting up for the Ronde van Vlaanderen, McEwen made a low-key appearance in Holland at the Hel van het Mergelland, finishing in the main bunch, 2'50 down on winner Nico Sijmens. "I did that with an eye on Gent-Wevelgem," said McEwen. "I got confirmation there of what I already knew, that my condition was still good."
Asked whether he considers himself among the favourites, McEwen noted: "If a large group arrives at the finish then yes. I feel much better than ten days or a week ago, my injury is virtually gone and I haven't lost any condition. I want to start with ambition."
The Australian has never figured in the finale of Gent-Wevelgem before, although sprinters have often trimphed from a small group with the peloton broken up by strong cross winds, coupled with two ascents apiece of the Monteberg and Kemmelberg. "I am at my best in big races with mass sprints," admitted McEwen. "From now I'll begin my preparation for the Giro."