McEwen has broken tibia, will miss Tour de France
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Friday, May 29, 2009

McEwen has broken tibia, will miss Tour de France

by Agence France-Presse at 7:09 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Australian sprint star Robbie McEwen has ruled himself out of taking part in the Tour de France after undergoing surgery on a fractured tibia.

The 36-year-old Katusha rider underwent surgery on Thursday after suffering a heavy fall on the second stage of the Tour of Belgium in Knokke-Heist.

"I had an accident today in tour of Belgium, broke my tibia," McEwen said on his twitter social networking website late Thursday. "Operation, two screws in it. Luckily the tendon is ok. Hit a barrier.

"Thanks everyone for your support. I promise you this, I will be back."

Speaking to Belgian television station Sporza on Friday, McEwen effectively ended any hopes he or the Katusha team might have had for him to compete in the July 4-29 Tour de France, a race in which he has been the green jersey winner for best sprinter on three occasions.

"I have absolutely no intention of stopping riding. I hope to resume training in six weeks," he said.

"I know that sounds speedy and ambitious. But in my head I've already started my return.

"I will work very hard to be able to once again race from September. My season is not over.

"I'll take advantage from the end of the season and winter to get myself back in condition to kick off next year at 100 percent of capabilities."

This latest accident came weeks after the Aussie was left with concussion after a tumble in the Grand Prix de l'Escaut, also in Belgium.

That put paid to his plan to compete in the Tour of Italy, forcing him to concentrate instead on this race as preparation for the Tour de France.

Katusha team doctors earlier said that in the absence of damage to the tendon and ligaments, the Australian could be back in the saddle in four weeks if there are no complications during his convalescence.

Whether that leaves McEwen, enough time to prepare for this year's gruelling edition is a moot point.

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