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McEwen takes Paris-Brussels

Lotto’s Robbie McEwen won the 82nd edition of the Paris-Brussels classic on Saturday, winning a sprint finish to see off German Olaf Pollack and Dutch racer Jans Koerts after a grueling 270km ride. McEwen's patience paid off handsomely as he warmed up for the world championships at Zolder, Belgium, in a month's time. Frenchman Jacky Durand set off on an early solo attack and spent 180 kilometers out in front on his own but the peloton reined him in and McEwen seized the moment and the race after brief attacks from Italian pair Daniele Nardello and Michele Bartoli. Over the final 10

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By VeloNews Interactive wire services, Copyright AFP2002

Lotto’s Robbie McEwen won the 82nd edition of the Paris-Brussels classic on Saturday, winning a sprint finish to see off German Olaf Pollack and Dutch racer Jans Koerts after a grueling 270km ride.

McEwen’s patience paid off handsomely as he warmed up for the world championships at Zolder, Belgium, in a month’s time.

Frenchman Jacky Durand set off on an early solo attack and spent 180 kilometers out in front on his own but the peloton reined him in and McEwen seized the moment and the race after brief attacks from Italian pair Daniele Nardello and Michele Bartoli.

Over the final 10 kilometers a six-man group broke away before Dutchman Eric Dekker hit the front in the final 2km only for McEwen to take advantage as he faded in the final 50m.

“It’s a great win – I stayed on the wheel of my compatriot Baden Cooke and surged forward at the right moment,” said the Australian, who brought German sprint king Erik Zabel’s six-year reign as Tour de France points champion to an end in July.

1. Robbie McEwen (Aus), Lotto, 266km in 7:36:33 (35.2kph)
2. Olaf Pollack (G), Gerolsteiner
3. Jans Koerts (Nl), Domo
4. Danilo Hondo (G), Telekom
5. Geoffrey Demeyere (B), Vlaanderen
6. Peter Van Petegem (B), Lotto
7. Lars Michaelsen (Dk), Coast
8. Saulius Ruskys (Lit), Gerolsteiner
9. Marius Sabaliauskas (Lit), Saeco
10. Michel Vanhaecke (B), Landbouwkrediet, all s.t.