The Vuelta a España 2006 has not brought Davitamon-Lotto's Robbie McEwen any luck yet. The Australian sprinter was unable to score a victory in the early, flat stages of the race, and seemed by far not as fast as in the Tour de France or in the Giro d'Italia this year, where he won six stages altogether.
"I'm not as strong as in the Tour," said McEwen to Belgian media after stage four, before the race headed towards its first mountains on the 2006 menu. "What I had in excess in France, I miss now. It's harder to sneak into the right position to begin the sprint."
And one difficulty leads to another, according to Murphy's Law. "On top of that, I was unlucky again. Two kilometres before the line, I had to brake hard which made 20 or 30 riders pass me - it was all over then. But I'll keep on trying," the Australian added, faithful to his objective at the beginning of the season to win stages in each of the Grand Tours this year.