Australian sprinter Robbie McEwen has made a successful return to racing at a post-Tour de France criterium in Aalst, Belgium. McEwen finished second to Tour green jersey runner-up Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC).
“Got second to Cav, felt ok,” McEwen wrote on his Twitter. “Lots more work to do but going right direction. Now work on power plus muscle mass.”
McEwen’s return in Aalst came one day earlier than expected, with the rider telling Cyclingnews in July today’s criterium in Diksmuide, Belgium would be his return. McEwen suffered a broken leg in an accident during stage two of the Tour of Belgium, his return to racing after being forced to miss the Giro d'Italia through injuries sustained in a crash during the Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen.
Despite entering the twilight years of a highly decorated career, McEwen has no plans of retiring this season. The sprinter is hopeful of returning to next year’s Tour to challenge the blistering pace demonstrated by Cavendish.
"I've got a contract until the end of next year; I'll definitely still be going around, for sure,” said McEwen. “And I hope I'm still going around at the front and able to win races. I think that's realistic –
“I've broken my leg but I haven't snapped it off! I've still got two legs and I'm already riding the bike,” McEwen said in June. “With a lot of hard work I would expect to reach the same level again."