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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 July, 2003, 21:36 GMT 22:36 UK
McEwen relieved by escape
Robbie McEwen on the podium after the end of Tuesday's stage
McEwen is leading the points competition
Australian Robbie McEwen was delighted to have made it across the finishing line in one piece after another hair-raising crash in the Tour de France.

A major pile-up in the first stage on Sunday saw several riders taken to hospital, and although only one rider fell in the third stage on Tuesday it could have been a lot worse.

Austrian Rene Haselbacher came off his bike with 200 metres to go, nearly flooring green jersey leader McEwen, but the Australian managed to keep upright and finish fifth.

McEwen blamed Haselbacher for the incident, which cost him the chance to challenge for the stage win.

"It turned out quite dangerous at the end," McEwen told BBC Radio Five Live.

"With about 300 metres to go I was holding the wheel of Petacchi and then on the right came Haselbacher and on the left came (Baden) Cooke.

"Haselbacher has ridden up into a gap that wasn't even there and just dropped himself.

In the end I guess I'm pretty lucky I'm uninjured and still leading the green jersey
Australian sprinter Robbie McEwen
"That's when it all started. I lost the wheel from there and could only come back and see what I could still do in the finish, but the first guys were gone.

"It made it dangerous. It's stupid, because Haselbacher does that a bit.

"It could have been more dangerous than it turned out to be. I was happy I got over the finish line instead of laying on the ground.

"I was happy I got over the finish line with all my skin because I could have just as easily gone down in the crash because he crashed right on me.

"In the end I guess I'm pretty lucky I'm uninjured and still leading the green jersey."



Links to more Tour de France 2003 stories


 

WATCH AND LISTEN
Green jersey holder Robbie McEwen
"Haselbacher could have made the finish more dangerous"



VOTE RESULTS
Who is the Tour's leading sprinter?
Baden Cooke
 18.69% 
Robbie McEwen
 14.95% 
Alessandro Petacchi
 55.14% 
Erik Zabel
 11.21% 
107 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

TOUR DE FRANCE 2003


STAGE REPORTS
 

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