McEwen first in OCBC Singapore, maintains winning pattern
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Friday, March 02, 2012

McEwen first in OCBC Singapore, maintains winning pattern

by VeloNation Press at 1:36 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Australian veteran triumphs

Robbie McEwenRobbie McEwen has clocked up a victory in what is his final season as a pro rider, winning today’s OCBC Cycling Criterium in Singapore. The Australian GreenEdge competitor beat Boy Van Poppel (UnitedHealthcare), Matthias Friedman (Team Champion System) and others to the line, and has consequently maintained a pattern of taking at least one win in each of his seventeen years of racing. This will be a valuable motivator prior to his heading back to Europe.

“I'm one for one in Singapore, and I'm pretty happy with that,” he stated. “My teammates raced aggressively in the first half of the race and put me in a good position to attack.

"I have to give credit to the other guys in the group. They worked well together to see that we would stay away and have a chance to fight amongst ourselves at the finish.

The break occurred after two other GreenEdge riders, Fumi Beppu and Luke Durbridge, rode aggressively early on. Beppu attacked on lap 17 and this prompted a counter by Tom Scully (Chipotle - First Solar).

Recognising the danger, McEwen covered the move. The duo were then joined by Boy van Poppel (UnitedHealthcare), Matt Cronshaw (Node4-Giordana), Westley Gough (Subway Cycling Team) and Matthias Friedman (Team Champion System), with this group building a minute’s lead on the 1.7 kilometre course.

"I tried from the beginning to go to the front of the race and after ten laps I saw that a group was forming with good riders from each team,” said Friedeman. ‘I was the last rider to get in the front group and, after a short time, we had a good lead on the main bunch.”

According to McEwen, they had to be both fast and to avoid risks. ‘It wasn't easy out there,” he said. “With the weather conditions, we had to be careful in the corners while racing aggressively. Everyone was talking about a sprint finish. I was fairly certain the break could stay away.”

When it came down to the gallop, Scully kicked hard, was passed by Van Poppel and then the latter was himself overtaken by a fast-finishing McEwen.

“It feels good to take the win,” the Australian said. "It was a great team ride by the boys at an enjoyable event. Now, I'll go home to Australia now where I'll take a little break from racing. I have a big training block ahead to get myself ready for racing in April.”

Friedemann was philosophical afterwards. “It's not a shame to lose to a rider like Robbie McEwen and Van Poppel, so I am happy with third place. Last year I was fifth and now third – so maybe next year I can get first.”

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