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McEwen wins Tour Down Under opener

Robbie McEwen continued his brilliant early season form with a thrilling victory in the opening stage of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under in Adelaide's East End Tuesday evening. In an All Australian trifecta, McEwen beat Queenslander Allan Davis with South Australian hero Stuart O'Grady third after 25 frenetic laps of a 2.5km circuit before a crowd estimated at close to 65,000. It was McEwen's ninth stage victory in seven years and followed closely on his win in the Australian Open road championship in Echunga on Saturday.

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By Michael Stevens, in Adelaide, Australia

McEwen's season is starting off right

McEwen’s season is starting off right

Photo: Graham Watson

Robbie McEwen continued his brilliant early season form with a thrilling victory in the opening stage of the Jacob’s Creek Tour Down Under in Adelaide’s East End Tuesday evening.

In an All Australian trifecta, McEwen beat Queenslander Allan Davis with South Australian hero Stuart O’Grady third after 25 frenetic laps of a 2.5km circuit before a crowd estimated at close to 65,000.

It was McEwen’s ninth stage victory in seven years and followed closely on his win in the Australian Open road championship in Echunga on Saturday.

The Tour de France sprint champion said he didn’t expect to repeat his 2004 success in the opening stage last night because he was still feeling the effects of the national championships.

“I still tried to position myself as best I could; I knew other blokes would be suffering, they rode the nationals, too, and had a hard day,” he said.

Another summer evening in Adelaide

Another summer evening in Adelaide

Photo: Graham Watson

“At the end my (Davitamon Lotto) teammates did a heap of work. Basically you just have to name the whole team, they did a fantastic job. They kept the race together; they were in breakaways, they led the race in the last couple of laps.”

O’Grady attempted to steal the race with an audacious breakaway in the last lap after his Cofidis teammate Matthew White led the bunch through at the bell.

But Davis was the first to react and inadvertently gave McEwen the leadout he required to win.

“I knew Al has been riding well,” he said. “We’ve been racing each other pretty much since we got back on the bike in pre-season.

“We’ve raced crits against each other through December and in Launceston, so I’ve seen how well he’s going.

“It was Al who closed the gap down to Stuey because he jumped me before the final bend. That, in a way was what I was hoping for _ someone else to take me across the gap and then come off the wheel because on this slight downhill sprint it’s good to come late.”

With the new format of the race, McEwen gained a six-second time bonus for his win, and leads Davis by 2 seconds in the overall classification.

And while his early-season form has been without peer, McEwen said he was not about to predict an overall victory with five days and 669km still to race.

“I’d like to win the overall, but I realize it’s not just as simple as just saying that,” he said. “It’s a very hard race and a lot can happen. Sometimes it’s the luck of the draw. Mostly the strongest rider wins, but sometimes a break will form and someone will take time and you just can’t get them back any more. I’ll just take it day-to-day, like I do other years. It’s very early in the season, January. It’s good if you can win, but it’s hard to be right up there 100 percent every day and be with every move.

“I’ll try, but if it doesn’t work, then at least I’ve had a good start. I’ve got the national jersey, I’ve led the tour, won a stage, so the pressure’s off us, and we can race the rest of this race and the rest of the season relaxed.”

Photo Gallery

Results


Results – Stage 1 – East End Adelaide Street Race, 50km

1. Robbie McEwen (Aus) Davitamon Lotto 1:00:45 (49.5 km/h)

2. Allan Davis (Aus) Liberty Seguros Team

3. Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone

4. Baden Cooke (Aus) Francaise Des Jeux

5. Guillermo Ruben Bongiorno (Arg) Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare

6. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Ag2R – Prevoyance

7. Aaron Kemps (Aus) Liberty Seguros Team

8. Giosuè Bonomi (Ita) Lampre – Caffita

9. Dimitri De Fauw (Bel) Quickstep

10. Gene Bates (Aus) Uni SA

11. Patrice Halgand (Fra) Crédit Agricole

12. Robert McLachlan (Aus) United Water

13. Samuele Marzoli (Ita) Lampre – Caffita

14. Kirk O’Bee (USA) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team

15. Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Crédit Agricole

16. David O’Loughlin (Irl) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team

17. Mickael Delage (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux

18. Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone

19. Ludovic Turpin (Fra) Ag2R – Prevoyance

20. Kevin De Weert (Bel) Quickstep

21. Erki Putsep (Est) Ag2R – Prevoyance

22. Bram Tankink (Ned) Quickstep

23. Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone

24. Brett Lancaster (Aus) Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare

25. Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Liberty Seguros Team

26. Russell Van Hout (Aus) Uni SA

27. Graeme Brown (Aus) Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare

28. Jans Koerts (Ned) Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone

29. Nicolas Portal (Fra) Ag2R – Prevoyance

30. Sebastien Hinault (Fra) Crédit Agricole

31. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Francaise Des Jeux

32. Siro Camponogara (Ita) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team

33. Daniele Righi (Ita) Lampre – Caffita

34. Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Spa) Liberty Seguros Team

35. David Loosli (Swi) Lampre – Caffita

36. David Betts (Aus) United Water

37. Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Ag2R – Prevoyance

38. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Ag2R – Prevoyance

39. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Crédit Agricole

40. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Liberty Seguros Team

41. David McKenzie (Aus) United Water

42. Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Crédit Agricole

43. David McPartland (Aus) United Water

44. Janek Tombak (Est) Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone

45. Sébastien Rosseler (Bel) Quickstep

46. Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Liberty Seguros Team

47. Javier Ramirez Abeja (Spa) Liberty Seguros Team

48. Matthew White (Aus) Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone

49. Mario Aerts (Bel) Davitamon – Lotto

50. Sebastien Joly (Fra) Crédit Agricole

51. Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone

52. Benoit Poilvet (Fra) Crédit Agricole

53. Cyrille Monnerais (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux

54. Michael Rogers (Aus) Quickstep

55. Scott Davis (Aus) United Water

56. Corey Sweet (Aus) Uni SA

57. Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon – Lotto

58. Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Quickstep

59. Inigo Chaurreau Bernardez (Spa) Ag2R – Prevoyance

60. Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Davitamon – Lotto

61. Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux

62. Ashley Humbert (Aus) United Water

63. Isidro Nozal Vega (Spa) Liberty Seguros Team

64. Phil Zajicek (USA) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team

65. Fortunato Baliani (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare

66. Christopher Sutton (Aus) United Water

67. Mirko Allegrini (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare

68. Chris Jongewaard (Aus) Uni SA

69. Matthew Wilson (Aus) Francaise Des Jeux

70. Nick Gates (Aus) Davitamon – Lotto

71. Christophe Oriol (Fra) Ag2R – Prevoyance

72. Paride Grillo (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare

73. Nathan O’Neill (Aus) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team

74. Stephen Cunningham (Aus) Uni SA

75. Frederic Finot (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux

76. Jan Kuyckx (Bel) Davitamon – Lotto

77. Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio (Mex) Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare

78. Adrian Laidler (Aus) Uni SA

79. Christopher Baldwin (USA) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team

80. Ciaran Power (Irl) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team

81. Hilton Clarke (Aus) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team

82. Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre – Caffita

83. Juan Manuel Fuentes Angullo (Spa) Lampre – Caffita

84. Paolo Fornaciari (Ita) Lampre – Caffita

85. Henk Vogels (Aus) Davitamon – Lotto

86. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Crédit Agricole

87. Sergiy Matveyev (Ukr) Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare

88. Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Davitamon – Lotto

89. Peter Farazijn (Bel) Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone

90. James Hannam (Aus) Uni SA

91. Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Quickstep

92. Ian McLeod (RSA) Francaise Des Jeux

93. Jonathan Clarke (Aus) United Water

94. Matthew Rex (Aus) Uni SA

95. Dario Pieri (Ita) Lampre – Caffita 5:54

Overall after stage 1

1. Robbie McEwen (Aus) Davitamon – Lotto 1:00:39

2. Allan Davis (Aus) Liberty Seguros Team 0:02

3. Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone 0:04

4. Baden Cooke (Aus) Francaise Des Jeux 0:06

5. Guillermo Ruben Bongiorno (Arg) Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare

6. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Ag2R – Prevoyance

7. Aaron Kemps (Aus) Liberty Seguros Team

8. Giosuè Bonomi (Ita) Lampre – Caffita

9. Dimitri De Fauw (Bel) Quickstep

10. Gene Bates (Aus) Uni SA

11. Patrice Halgand (Fra) Crédit Agricole

12. Robert McLachlan (Aus) United Water

13. Samuele Marzoli (Ita) Lampre – Caffita

14. Kirk O’Bee (USA) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team

15. Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Crédit Agricole

16. David O’Loughlin (Irl) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team

17. Mickael Delage (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux

18. Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone

19. Ludovic Turpin (Fra) Ag2R – Prevoyance

20. Kevin De Weert (Bel) Quickstep

21. Erki Putsep (Est) Ag2R – Prevoyance

22. Bram Tankink (Ned) Quickstep

23. Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone

24. Brett Lancaster (Aus) Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare

25. Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Liberty Seguros Team

26. Russell Van Hout (Aus) Uni SA

27. Graeme Brown (Aus) Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare

28. Jans Koerts (Ned) Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone

29. Nicolas Portal (Fra) Ag2R – Prevoyance

30. Sebastien Hinault (Fra) Crédit Agricole

31. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Francaise Des Jeux

32. Siro Camponogara (Ita) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team

33. Daniele Righi (Ita) Lampre – Caffita

34. Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Spa) Liberty Seguros Team

35. David Loosli (Swi) Lampre – Caffita

36. David Betts (Aus) United Water

37. Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Ag2R – Prevoyance

38. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Ag2R – Prevoyance

39. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Crédit Agricole

40. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Liberty Seguros Team

41. David McKenzie (Aus) United Water

42. Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Crédit Agricole

43. David McPartland (Aus) United Water

44. Janek Tombak (Est) Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone

45. Sébastien Rosseler (Bel) Quickstep

46. Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Liberty Seguros Team

47. Javier Ramirez Abeja (Spa) Liberty Seguros Team

48. Matthew White (Aus) Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone

49. Mario Aerts (Bel) Davitamon – Lotto

50. Sebastien Joly (Fra) Crédit Agricole

51. Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone

52. Benoit Poilvet (Fra) Crédit Agricole

53. Cyrille Monnerais (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux

54. Michael Rogers (Aus) Quickstep

55. Scott Davis (Aus) United Water

56. Corey Sweet (Aus) Uni SA

57. Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon – Lotto

58. Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Quickstep

59. Inigo Chaurreau Bernardez (Spa) Ag2R – Prevoyance

60. Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Davitamon – Lotto

61. Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux

62. Ashley Humbert (Aus) United Water

63. Isidro Nozal Vega (Spa) Liberty Seguros Team

64. Phil Zajicek (USA) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team

65. Fortunato Baliani (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare

66. Christopher Sutton (Aus) United Water

67. Mirko Allegrini (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare

68. Chris Jongewaard (Aus) Uni SA

69. Matthew Wilson (Aus) Francaise Des Jeux

70. Nick Gates (Aus) Davitamon – Lotto

71. Christophe Oriol (Fra) Ag2R – Prevoyance

72. Paride Grillo (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare

73. Nathan O’Neill (Aus) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team

74. Stephen Cunningham (Aus) Uni SA

75. Frederic Finot (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux

76. Jan Kuyckx (Bel) Davitamon – Lotto

77. Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio (Mex) Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare

78. Adrian Laidler (Aus) Uni SA

79. Christopher Baldwin (USA) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team

80. Ciaran Power (Irl) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team

81. Hilton Clarke (Aus) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team

82. Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre – Caffita

83. Juan Manuel Fuentes Angullo (Spa) Lampre – Caffita

84. Paolo Fornaciari (Ita) Lampre – Caffita

85. Henk Vogels (Aus) Davitamon – Lotto

86. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Crédit Agricole

87. Sergiy Matveyev (Ukr) Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare

88. Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Davitamon – Lotto

89. Peter Farazijn (Bel) Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone

90. James Hannam (Aus) Uni SA

91. Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Quickstep

92. Ian McLeod (RSA) Francaise Des Jeux

93. Jonathan Clarke (Aus) United Water

94. Matthew Rex (Aus) Uni SA

95. Dario Pieri (Ita) Lampre – Caffita 6:00

SA Lotteries Sprints classification

1. Gene Bates (Aus) Uni SA 12 pts

2. Robbie McEwen (Aus) Davitamon – Lotto 8

3. Allan Davis (Aus) Liberty Seguros Team 6

4. Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone 4

5. Russell Van Hout (Aus) Uni SA 4

6. David Betts (Aus) United Water 4

7. Jan Kuyckx (Bel) Davitamon – Lotto 2

8. Matthew Rex (Aus) Uni SA 2

Share the Road U23 rider classification

1. Aaron Kemps (Aus) Liberty Seguros Team 1:00:45

2. Samuele Marzoli (Ita) Lampre – Caffita

3. Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Crédit Agricole

4. Mickael Delage (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux

5. Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Liberty Seguros Team

6. Cyrille Monnerais (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux

7. Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux

8. Christopher Sutton (Aus) United Water

9. James Hannam (Aus) Uni SA

10. Jonathan Clarke (Aus) United Water

11. Matthew Rex (Aus) Uni SA

Sensational Adelaide Teams classification

1. Liberty Seguros Team 3:02:15

2. Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone

3. Ag2R – Prevoyance

4. Quickstep

5. Francaise Des Jeux

6. Lampre – Caffita

7. Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare

8. Crédit Agricole

9. Navigators Insurance Cycling Team

10. United Water

11. Uni SA

12. Davitamon – Lotto