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Robbie McEwen prepares for one of his last races as a pro
Rowney looking to end season as it began in strong women's field
Robbie McEwen may have formally retired at the Amgen Tour of California earlier this season but turning his back on racing is proving difficult with the three-time maillot vert winner lining up this weekend at the Subaru Cycling Grand Prix Noosa.
It follows McEwen's third place at the Japan Cup criterium earlier this month.
The 41-year-old will be joined by his Orica-GreenEdge teammates Simon Clarke, Allan Davis, and Michael Hepburn.
"In my role with Orica-GreenEdge it's a real advantage to still be able to race with the guys and give them advice," said McEwen who is now a sprint coach for the WorldTour team.
"If the race is as fast as it normally is at Noosa that advice might have to wait until after the race. I'll mainly be keeping an eye out for things to work on over the pre-season.
"Just don't call it a comeback, this is purely for fun."
Also lining up will be former Australian Criterium Champion, Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank's Jonathan Cantwell who won the event in 2009, while last year's runner-up Koen de Kort (Argos-Shimano), Jeremy Hunt (Sky) and Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp) are confirmed starters.
The women's field is just as strong with Redlands Bicycle Classic stage winner Loren Rowney spearheading a Specialized Women SA team that will no doubt be in an arm-wrestle with the Subaru squad of Jessie Maclean, Shara Gillow and Gracie Elvin. Rowney has enjoyed a spectacular start to her pro career having won a stage of the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic in Janauary, Stage 2 of the New Zealand Women's Tour in February before racing in the US with Specialized-lululemon. In August, Rowney took out Stage 6 of La Route de France.
Former winner, Rochelle Gilmore will also be lining up.
Both Subaru Cycling Grand Prix Noosa races will be held on Saturday 3 November, with the women starting at 2.30pm and the men at 4.40pm.
For further event information check out the website at www.noosatri.com.au