Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
| Help
Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 July, 2005, 13:07 GMT 14:07 UK
Robbie McEwen column

By Robbie McEwen
Tour de France sprinter

I can tell you exactly how Lance Armstrong feels about winning a seventh Tour de France.

I rode alongside him towards the end of the final stage to congratulate him and ask how he felt.

Lance Armstrong
He turned round to me and said "I feel hungry". I was thinking to myself "he can't be hungry for more success", and then he headed towards his team-mate George Hincapie and asked if he had any spare food.

To be serious for a minute, though, Lance has lived the American dream in some style.

He was the youngest-ever world champion, fought back from cancer, bagged himself a rock-star girlfriend, won seven Tours and then bowed out at his peak.

For him the dream has ended but his dominance of the race will never be forgotten. I wouldn't say he was as dominant as Eddy Merckx but he will always be one of the all-time greats of cycling.

People say his departure will leave a void in the race but that's nonsense. Next year's will be the most exciting ever - there are so many riders who can win.

As for this year's, it was the quickest ever - we averaged 41.5km/h for more than 3,000km. And I can tell you it killed me. And the thought of non-stop attacks in next year's race fills me with dread.

I've had worse individual days in the saddle on past Tours but this is the worst Tour I've ever experienced.

It's the first time the Tour has ever crossed all four of France's mountain ranges and the pace was brutal.

But there's not been any rest or relaxation. In fact I was back racing on Monday. Someone has to pay the bills and I've got to do it, even though my body's saying otherwise.

Robbie McEwen
My Tour low point has got to be the number of moonies
Thankfully they're back at home so I can spend time with my wife and three-year-old son Ewan, sleep in my own bed, eat food from my own fridge and watch my own big-screen TV.

But the best moment of the lot is my new recliner. I bought it just before the race but have only just got acquainted with it. It sure as hell beats a bike saddle.

Seriously, though, it's been great to see my wife and son. It's the longest I've ever been away from them as they didn't come to the race until the finish in Paris.

As I came round on the second lap of the Champs-Elysees on Sunday I saw him. He was wearing a mini-version of my Australian champion's jersey and jumping up and down and screaming "daddy, daddy".

I heard him every time I came round and, after I finished, I picked him up and plonked him on my bike. He was really confused though. He'd been used to seeing me on the TV over the last few weeks. He couldn't quite fathom I was actually in front of him.

Sadly I didn't win and I blame green jersey winner Thor Hushovd.

He was so scared about losing the jersey he let the break that led to Alexandre Vinokourov's stage win go. I'm not angered by Hushovd, it's all part and parcel of racing.

But I won the subsequent sprint by three lengths which shows I probably would have won the stage. Oh well, three stage wins ain't too bad. They were real high points.

As for my Tour low point it's got to be the number of moonies. I have never seen so many bare arses in my life.

Particularly on the mountain stages, blokes would just drop their trousers and moon us. After the comedy value of a couple it was like "oh, not again".

So for next year, lads, please keep your trousers up.



The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

E-mail services | Sport on mobiles/PDAs


Back to top

Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

BBC Sport Academy >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
About the BBC | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy | Contact us
banner watch listen bbc sport