By John Trevorrow
Australian sprinter Robbie McEwen (Silence-Lotto) was disappointed after his run to the finish on yesterday's second Tour de France stage was marred by other riders' crashes. McEwen had been a favourite for the stage, with the finish well suited to the pint-sized rider's qualities.
"Some guy crashed himself right in front of me and I had to go full on the brakes and I was already at my limit," said McEwen after the stage. "I started to work my way back with [Leif] Hoste and we were moving back up and they crashed in front of us again at the kilometre to go mark and again I had to chuck on the brakes and dive to the right."
McEwen had a third run at the finish, but the previous efforts had taken the wind from his sails. Big Norwegian sprinter Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole) took the second stage victory, the sixth Tour stage win of his career.
"Again I just got around them but, hey, when you come to a standstill twice in the last two kilometers, you are pretty stuffed," explained McEwen. "I tried to come back into the last 400 metres and I passed about 35 guys but it was too late. It's the same old thing in sprint finishes, guys trying to squeeze through gaps that aren't there."
The Silence-Lotto rider will get another shot at victory today, with the stage expected to again culminate in a sprint.