New lease of life at Pegasus Sports for Australian sprinter
Robbie McEwen believes he could ride beyond the 2011 season and possibly finish his career with an appearance at the 2012 Santos Tour Down Under after becoming Pegasus Sports' marquee rider for next year.
The experienced Australian told Cyclingnews he believes he can play a multi-faceted role at Pegasus, given his experience at the world's biggest races, which includes 12 stage wins at the Tour de France.
"I still believe I'm capable of winning races and being a senior member of the riding side of the team I can play a captain/coach/mentor role on the road; being amongst the boys, passing on my experience and help guys develop and overcome some of those hurdles you come across in your career," said McEwen.
"Knowing which races are which, which ones are coming up, how to look after yourself... and what to do in training when you're confronted with a big racing schedule, which they may have never done before."
As for the prospect of him continuing beyond the 2011 season, McEwen recently told Australian sports TV network One HD: "I'm 38 going on 39 - you can't ride professionally forever and I think I've had a pretty good run until now, with its ups and downs of course. I just can't bring myself to say I'm going to retire at the end of 2011."
"I've got this... well it won't be a secret if I tell you, but a dream scenario I guess would be to train through the 2011/12 pre-season and do my last race at the Tour Down Under in 2012. that'd be a great way to go out.
"I do in any case in 2012 want to have some sort of role with the team and stay in contact and help the team develop in any way I can."
McEwen's form in the last two seasons has been hampered by injury as a result of crashes - particularly complications surrounding his leg knee, which was damaged when he broke his leg at the Tour of Belgium, and two crashes at the Tour de France this year. He gave assurances that he was feeling good during the team's recent training camp held in Queensland, however.
"The knee is very, very good. I came through the second half of the season really well with my knee and I felt my left leg getting stronger," he explained.
McEwen added that despite the troubles he experienced during his two-year tenure at the Russian ProTour squad he left the team with no ill feelings between himself or management.
"I was really devastated that my Tour [de France] was ruined by two bad crashes - I really would've liked to win at the Tour, not only for myself but I actually would have liked to repay Katusha's faith in me with a stage win at the Tour.
"I wasn't able to do what I went there to do and it would've been nice to perform at the Tour but those two crashes just absolutely ruined the whole thing. That was a real pity and put a dampener on things."
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