Robbie McEwen

Robbie McEwen bigraphy, stories - Road bicycle racer

Robbie McEwen : biography

24 June 1972 –

Robbie McEwen (born 24 June 1972 in Brisbane, Queensland) is an Australian former professional road bicycle racer. He last rode for on the UCI World Tour, and is now a technical advisor for the team. As a triple winner of the Tour de France’s green jersey sprinters’ classification, at his peak he was considered one of the fastest sprinters in the world.

A former junior Australian BMX champion, McEwen switched to road racing in 1990 at 18. He was first selected for the Australian national road team in 1994. McEwen lives in Australia with his Belgian wife Angélique Pattyn, his son Ewan, and his daughters Elena and Claudia. In 2011 he published an autobiography, One Way Road. McEwen has lived a long time in the Belgian town of Everbeek and is fluent in Dutch.

He retired after riding the 2012 Tour of California.


Robbie McEwen in the 2006 Bay Cycling Classic McEwen started road cycling at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra under the A.I.S. road cycling coach Heiko Salzwedel. The first signs of his sprinting prowess on the international stage were at the "Peace Race", winning three stages for the Australian National team.

He competed in the road race at the 1996 Summer Olympics (23rd) and the 2000 Summer Olympics (19th). He was also included on the Australian team for the 1994 UCI Road Cycling World Championship in Italy, and the 2002 UCI Road Cycling World Championship in Belgium where he won a silver medal. McEwen was again selected for Australia at the 2004 Summer Olympics (11th) as part of the road race team of Michael Rogers, Stuart O’Grady, Baden Cooke and Matthew White.

McEwen was named 2002 Australian Cyclist of the Year, 2002 Male Road Cyclist of the Year and 1999 Australia Male Road Cyclist of the Year. In December 2010, after the failure of the Australian-registered Pegasus team to obtain a UCI Professional Continental license, McEwen suggested that 2011 might be his final professional season, which he would ride for after securing a contract with Johan Bruyneel’s squad at the last minute. In September 2011 he joined the new Australian team , which obtained a ProTeam licence for the 2012 season.

Tour de France

McEwen has participated in the Tour de France 12 times, in 1997 (117th), 1998 (89th), 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010. He has had 12 stage wins. In 1999 on stage 20 he won the sprint in Paris on the Champs-Elysées. In 2002 he won stage 3: Metz – Reims and stage 20: Melun – Paris. In 2004 he won stages 3 and 9. In 2005, he was relegated in stage 3 by referees after clashing with fellow Australian Stuart O’Grady. He won stage 5 to Montargis, stage 7 to Karlsruhe in Germany and stage 13 to Montpellier. In 2006 he won stages 2, 4 and 6 to Esch-sur-Alzette, St Quentin and Vitré.

He started the 2007 Tour with a victorious sprint on stage 1 to Canterbury. The stage win was seen as remarkable as he had crashed with 20 km to go. He landed on his knee and wrist but with the help of his team he clawed his way back to the bunch to win the sprint by over a bike length. The injuries he sustained from this crash did not prevent him from continuing but eventually he was forced out of the race when the Tour entered the Mountains, his knee injury became worse and he failed to finish stage eight within the time limit.

In 2002 McEwen became the first Australian to win the Maillot vert (green jersey) overall Points (or Sprint) Classification of the Tour de France. By 2006, McEwen had won the sprinters’ green jersey points competition three times in this race, in 2002, 2004 and again in 2006, defeating rivals such as fellow Australians Baden Cooke and Stuart O’Grady, and international competitors like Erik Zabel of Germany, Tom Boonen of Belgium and Thor Hushovd of Norway.