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McEwen's jersey hopes over

Australia's Robbie McEwen realizes that the Tour de France's green jersey for best sprinter is far away, especially as the peloton is heading for the mountains this week. "I'm still watching at the jersey, but from a distance," laughed the Predictor-Lotto rider. "Seriously, 50 points is too far out. I was good in the last sprint but Zabel blocked me."

While his hopes of taking the green jersey may have been dashed, the Belgium-residing McEwen declared he's in the event for the long haul. "I've had nine Tour finishes so I'm not planning to step out," he said. "I'm just taking stage wins as my next goal. I'll have to get through the mountains first but next week I should be there again in the sprints." BD

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