Parent and spouse watch

Robbie McEwen has been enjoying his parents' company in the Tour. Mr and Mrs McEwen had come half way around the world to support their son. As a token of his gratitude, Robbie offered his parents a short holiday in a spa-resort in Switzerland while the Tour peloton races some mountain stages. "I won the holiday package in the Tour of Switzerland and now my parents can use it to unwind," Robbie told TV1.

Mrs Angelique McEwen has seen her husband take two victories while taking a holiday on the Belgian coast. She told HLN, "I've been shopping with Ewan, with Robbie's bankcard. When the cat's away...(laughs). I'm a real stress-chicken. Robbie is the strong one, I admire him for that. I mainly have to listen to him and stay calm. If what happened to him - being DQ'd - was done to me, I would have scratched the jury's eyes out. But Robbie remains cool. He's going for the stage wins now as a lot needs to happen for Boonen to lose the green.

It was a real unloading of all the tension when Robbie took his first win. I thought it was really nice how he crossed the line: with his little fingers pointing to his chest and his fist in the air. The anger of the previous days made room for joy."

Tom Boonen's parents have been following the Tour from a few hundred kilometres away, from their home in Balen, Belgium. "I'm a representative for bike manufacturer Ridley and have to work one more week before I can take a week holiday," former pro André Boonen told Hugo Coorevits of HNB. "I have to get some bread on the table too hey (grins). That last week in the Pyrenees, Tom will be needing all the rest he can get. For now, we limit ourselves to the party for Tom here in Balen."

It's known that the people from Balen love a party, that much was clear after Tom's wins in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. Even though the green jersey isn't at all secured for Tom, the opportunity to celebrate the success of their boy in the Tour was considered a good reason to celebrate. Yesterday evening, a huge party was organised by the council. Everyone showing up dressed in green from top to toe - with exception of socks and shoes - enjoyed free beers the whole night. It was reported to be a huge party with thousands present.

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