Even Robbie McEwen couldn't believe he could crash and recover to win the first stage of the Tour de France.
With just 20km to go in the 203km trek between London and Canterbury, McEwen was forced to brake due to riders ahead, and was hit by a cyclist from behind -- sending the Australian flying over his handlebars and onto the road. He cut open his right knee.
"It's worth that pain to have a stage win in the Tour de France," McEwen said after the 12th stage win of his Tour career.
"This is definitely one of the best ever. After the crash, I hurt myself -- hurt my wrist -- but the boys brought me back. I still can't believe I won this stage," he said.
McEwen found himself pushed to the back of the pack along with one of the British hopes, Mark Cavendish, who also fell. McEwen received no help from rival sprinters, aside from his team.
"It was very hard to come back," McEwen's Predictor-Lotto sporting director Hendrik Redant said. "Quickstep and Lampre went flat out. That's normal because Cavendish and McEwen had crashed."
Belgian rider Leif Hoste and his teammates worked frantically to pull McEwen back.
"They caught up with four or five kilometers to go," Redant said. "The roads were very narrow so it was very hard."
McEwen's comeback bore shades of the 2003 Tour, when Lance Armstrong tumbled on a climb to Luz-Ardiden after catching his handlebar on a spectator's bag. Like Armstrong, McEwen would prefer to lose to a better opponent than to bad luck.
Making his way back to the front, McEwen joined a clutch of sprinters climbing a small hill some 500 meters from the line. All were jostling for position, trying to find the best angle of attack while protecting their flanks.
"It was out of control," said McEwen, who tied German veteran Erik Zabel with 12 stage wins.
Kamaru Usman put on a Fight Island masterclass yesterday to retain his UFC welterweight world title by grinding down a brave Jorge Masvidal in Abu Dhabi. “I’m at the top of the mountain and everyone’s looking at me,” said the 33-year-old Usman after scoring a unanimous points decision 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46 on the three judges’ cards. The Nigerian-American Usman (17-1) looked the fresher fighter, with Masvidal (35-14) having taken the UFC251 headline bout at just six days’ notice when Brazil’s Gilbert Burns (19-3) tested positive for COVID-19 and was unable to travel. The Las Vegas-based UFC pulled off a power-packed schedule with
Thailand international Pitsamai Sornsai, a new arrival for Inter Taoyuan, is to lead her team against Taipei Bravo tomorrow in the 10th round of the Taiwan Mulan Football League. Sornsai, who is nicknamed Pui, has attracted interest from media and fans as the first foreigner signed to play in Taiwan’s women’s league. Inter are among six teams battling for the title this year. The addition of Sornsai is a boost for the international profile of women’s soccer in Taiwan and elevates the competition. The 31-year-old brings a wealth of experience, including from the Asian Football Confederation’s Women’s Championship, the Southeast Asian Games and
MONKEYS ALSO WIN: The Rakuten Monkeys kept the Brothers from the first-half title as they dominated the Uni-President Lions, scoring four in the fourth The CTBC Brothers still need another win to clinch the first-half CPBL title, despite thrashing the hapless Fubon Guardians 17-0 yesterday, after the Rakuten Monkeys beat the Uni-President Lions 9-2. Fans of CTBC Brothers were hoping to celebrate the first-half title, with a crowd of more than 10,000 packed into the Taichung Intercontinental Stadium for their home game against the Guardians. The figure was an attendance record for this year, when baseball and most other major sports events worldwide have been played in empty venues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Entering the game, CTBC had pushed their magic number down to 2, meaning
Preparing to complete a ninth Serie A campaign without winning the scudetto, AC Milan decided that returning to the pinnacle of club soccer required a new approach. Roc Nation, the entertainment agency of US rapper Jay-Z is at the center of it, linking up with Milan to scour the world for sponsors, and use concerts and other high-profile events to attract new fans. And who better to ask about how to end a title drought than the team who just won their league for the first time in 30 years? “We have been talking to Liverpool, because they’ve been through the same path