Robbie McEwen shrugged off a crash to take the twelfth Tour de France stage victory of his career. Cyclingnews' Shane Stokes reports from Canterbury:
For many years Erik Zabel was the undisputed sprint king of the Tour de France, taking six green jerseys and winning twelve stages in all. With his total of three taken thus far, Robbie McEwen is some way off equalling Zabel's number of maillots verts, but he matched the second statistic when he galloped to success in Canterbury on Sunday.
In truth, the victory over Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole), Tom Boonen (Quick Step Innergetic), Sébastian Chavanel (Française Des Jeux) and the other 177 riders in the main bunch seemed very unlikely with 23 kilometres to go. McEwen was one of several riders who came down in a crash only to face a hard chase with his teammates to regain contact with the back of the field.
Once they made contact with the race again, McEwen still needed to work his way up through the peloton and then make the sprint against a host of fresher – and less bruised – competitors. But strong work by his Predictor Lotto squad plus a powerful finishing effort by McEwen produced that impressive result.
"I have got a very sore knee and wrist but all in all, it has been a fantastic day," he said at the post-race press conference. "I am a little bit worried about tomorrow as when I got back on my bike after the crash I could hardly move my hand and my wrist, and was generally very sore. But when you get going after a fall and just ride, the adrenaline means it can feel okay.
"After some time [in the peloton] and a bit of rest it felt better. However it is overnight that everything gets stiff. I will face that problem tomorrow; right now I am pretty happy."
Read the entire Robbie McEwen feature here.