Cyclingnews talks with Robbie McEwen

By Gabriella Ekström

Veenendaal-Veenendaal 2000
Photo: © Bert Geerts

Robbie McEwen has high hopes of overcoming the bad luck that followed him last year when he was riding for Farm Frites. The 28 year old rider told Cyclingnews at the beginning of the 2001 season why last year wasn't so great, and why this year will be a better one.

He has started the year in the best possible fashion, winning the overall classification in Australia's Bay Series Criteriums, as well as the final stage of the Mallorca Challenge, where he beat Erik Zabel. Take it away, Robbie...

"From January to April the team's results were very good, but other factors undermined the team morale last year and I think they detracted from the team's performance.

By my own admission I had a poor season last year, winning only two races and having health problems at two crucial times of the season. I missed the whole spring due to a virus and then crashed and broke my shoulder in August.

I think my best performance was getting ready for the Olympics on time after breaking my shoulder one month before the games and eventually finishing 19th. The result itself doesn't say much but the obstacles that I had to overcome made it more special to me

I'm sure the DOMO-Farm Frites team will be a great success. We have great riders and just as importantly we have a good team behind us - directors, sponsors, mechanics, masseurs etc. Everything is very well organised and structured and I expect to step up another level in this team.

I've done one training camp with the team as a whole and met up again at the team presentation. I know a lot of the guys already, from the peloton or from being together in previous teams. Everyone gets on great and the atmosphere is good amongst everyone.

Leading Armstrong during the 2000 Olympics
Photo: © Phil McKnight

Being a new team it's a fresh start and everyone is in the same position which I think brings the team closer together. Even though it is a Belgian team it is very international with nine different nationalities but this is no problem as everyone makes an effort to be able to communicate with each other.

I'm looking forward to riding in the team of Patrick Lefevre with Redant and Sergeant as directors. As far as riders go, I'm looking forward to riding in the same team as Museeuw and Peeters, Van Heeswijk, Rodriguez and my teammate since my first year as a pro, Koos Moerenhout. My role will remain the same as other years - sprinting. With a few fast guys in the team we have the opportunity to do some special things in the last few hundred metres and will be working on a system to launch whoever is riding the best on the day.

My main goal of the year is the Tour De France, and with good results in the first week I will try for the green jersey. The early season races will be interesting for me - Mallorca, Mediterranee, Haribo, Kuurne-Brussel- Kuurne and Paris-Nice. Mainly I will be trying for stage wins in flatter stages and also in the semi-classic races.

As I finished last season after Olympics and had a good rest I started preparing this season in November and have trained quite hard which will see me start the season with almost 8000 km of training and also a few criterium wins.

So with good shape in the early season I'm targetting Mallorca, Tour de Med, Haribo, Kuurne-Brussels- Kuurne and Paris - Nice to try and get some early wins for the team. My hopes for the season are at least 10 wins - at least 1 in the Tour and hopefully 750 UCI points by the end of the season. I hope 2001 will also bring my wife and I a baby!


Born: June 24, 1972 in Brisbane
Nationality : Australia
Pro Since: 1996
Teams : Rabobank (1996-1999), Farm Frites (2000), Domo-Farm Frites (2001)


1st, Freemantle Criterium
1st, stage Vuelta a la Comunidad Murciana
1st, stage Wien-Rabenstein-Wien
1st, stage Rheinland-Pfalz Rundfahrt
1st, LUK Cup Buhl
1st, stage Regio Tour
1st, stage Tour de líAvenir
3 stages Herald Sun Tour
23rd, Olympic Road Race


Ride Safe Criterium sereis + 2 stages
Bay Cycling Classic + 3 stages
1st, stage Quatre Jours de Dunkerque
1st, stage Tour de Luxembourg
2 stages Ronde van Nederland
1st, Brisbane Criterium
117th, Tour de France


1st, stage Bay Cycling Classic
1st, stage Vuelta a Andalucia/Ruta del Sol
1st, criterium Almelo
2 stages Ronde van Nederland
1st, Gold Coast Criterium
2nd, G.P. Palma (Vuelta a Mallorca)
2nd, G.P. Manacor (Vuelta a Mallorca)
89th, Tour de France


Bay Cycling Classic + 3 stages
1st, stage Tour de Luxembourg
1st, stage Route du Sud
1st, stage Tour de France
1st, criterium Maarheeze
1st, stage Ronde van Nederland
1st, 2 stages Herald Sun Tour
2nd, G.P. Cala Millor (Vuelta a Mallorca)
2nd, Trofeo Luis Puig
122th, Tour de France


1st, stage Tour Down Under
1st, G.P. Port de Soller (Vuelta a Mallorca)
19th, Olympic Road Race
113th, Tour de France


Bay Cycling Classic + 3 stages
1st, stage Vuelta a Mallorca

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