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McEwen duels Cavendish in Belgium

Robbie McEwen and Mark Cavendish joke before the race

Robbie McEwen and Mark Cavendish joke before the race (Image credit: Tim Van Wichelen)

Two of cycling's most explosive riders came head-to-head yesterday in Oostduinkerke, Belgium. Brit Mark Cavendish got the better of Australian Robbie McEwen, 13 years older, in Driedaagse De Panne second and third stages.

"It is like sprinting against myself with regards to Cav," McEwen wrote on Twitter.

McEwen is one of cycling's most accomplished sprinters. Many of his wins have come thanks to an explosive jump over his rivals in the final metres. His past wins include 12 stages and three sprinter's jerseys at the Tour de France.

"I found my way in the last kilometres and got on Cavendish's wheel," he said. "We started the sprint at the same time, 200 metres to go and I made up a bike-length's difference but Cavendish took it back in the last 50 metres. I felt that I made a mistake by not going earlier."

McEwen and Cavendish will face each other today in the 112-kilometre stage to De Panne. Their next encounter will be at Gent-Wevelgem on Wednesday.

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