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McEwen outlines schedule in farewell season, to transition to ‘scout’ role

McEwen took the lead for a day at the 2011 Tour Down Under.

Veteran sprinter Robbie McEwen is looking at a few early season racing goals before retiring for good to become a stage scout for GreenEdge later next season.

McEwen told SBS.com that he will be racing through May before leaving the bike for good to become GreenEdge’s technical advisor in time for July’s Tour de France.

“What they’d (GreenEDGE) like me to do is finish at the end of May, so that would be after the Tour of Cali, then go with the team to the Tour de France and scout the finishes,” he told SBS.

McEwen said the role will be similar to what former arch-rival Erik Zabel was doing the past few seasons with Highroad.

“I’d go ahead of the team — either leave really early in the morning or go the night before — and scout the last 10K of the stage and then re-ride the last 5K, re-ride the last 3K again then do the last 2K and 1K again so I know it perfectly.

“I can relay all that information to the guys in the bus during the team meeting by phone before they start so they’ve all got a clear picture of what the finish is.

“I can tell them about each corner and they know exactly what is coming before they get there and that’s a little advantage.”

The 39-year-old will have a busy racing calendar until the Tour, however, with a season debut at the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic before the national championships and the Tour of Qatar.

“March is still a bit up in the air but I might go to Belgium for a couple of weeks and do the races that fall in between the big classics,” he said. “I’ll do possibly Ghent-Wevelgem, Three Days of De Panne, Scheldeprijs — the races where the sprinters excel. They’re the races the younger guys should be aiming at over the next three or four years before maybe taking their ambitions up to Tour of Flanders or (Paris) Roubaix.”

McEwen may race the Tour of Turkey and the Tour of California before hanging up the bike for good.

McEwen won four races with RadioShack in 2011 and said it’s a dream come true that he can finish off his career with an Australian team.

He was set to race with the ill-fated Pegasus team this season, but the lead sponsor pulled the plug last fall, leaving McEwen and everyone else on the team scrambling for a ride.

RadioShack offered McEwen and fellow veteran sprinter Robbie Hunter a lifeline. McEwen paid them back the change, winning two stages and the overall at the Circuit Franco-Belge at the end of the season.

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