McEwen quietly confident for Milano-Sanremo

McEwen opens his European account

McEwen opens his European account (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

After notching up his first European victory of 2007 in the opening stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, Aussie super sprinter Robbie McEwen is one of the favourites to add a first win in La Classicissima to his palmarès on Saturday. "The feeling in the legs is most important and that's good," said McEwen to Brussels FM. "If nothing hurts your legs then that's a good sign."

Surviving the climbs of Cipressa and Poggio with the leading group will likely be McEwen's toughest task come Saturday, but the Predictor-Lotto rider believes his form is on track. "I'm climbing well and haven't had a problem so far in Tirreno," he continued. "I could win on Saturday if I'm there on the Via Roma, but it's not certain that it'll come down to a sprint.

"I must survive the Cipressa and Poggio before then and be conservative. It's important for a race of 300 kilometres to not work too much under stress."

McEwen could be without the support of his faithful lieutenant Freddy Rodriguez after the American didn't take the start of stage six at Tirreno due to sickness. "He has a problem with his breathing," said team manager Hendrik Redant to Sporza. "We sent him home to avoid making the other riders sick."

New Predictor-Lotto signing Leif Hoste is also uncertain of being on the start line in Milan following a crash in yesterday's Tirreno stage to San Giacomo. "We will know more on Tuesday," affirmed Redant. "Leif crashed after 55 kilometres but continued driving on for another 10 kilometres until I told him to stop. He had an enormous bruise the size of a tennis ball. At his moment we can say nothing about his participation in Milan-San Remo."

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