Robbie McEwen Out of Tour de France
Eleven time Tour de France competitor Robbie McEwen has been dumped by Team Radioshack less than a month out from the start of the tour.
McEwen is a three time Tour de France green jersey winner, and widely regarded as one of the best cyclists ever to come out of Australia, however it wasn’t enough to get him onto the team which includes top cyclists Andreas Kloden and Levi Leipheimer.
McEwen confirmed that he would miss his first tour since 1999 on Twitter.
“Not riding the tour this year. Going to focus on having a strong final part of the season. Looks like Vuleta and hopefully a spot in the Worlds 4 Oz,” said McEwen.
It is believed McEwen was bumped because he has already committed to team Green Edge for 2012.
Green Edge will be an Australian based team that will compete on the lucrative professional European cycling circuit.
McEwen has also signalled his intention to return to Australia, after being based in Belgium for the best part of a decade.
Leipheimer, Kloden, Chris Horner and Janesz Brajkovic have been selected as the four team leaders for Team Radioshack this year, but it is still unclear which rider the powerful team will back as winner. At this stage it looks as if they will let early stage results determine that.
Team Radioshack manager Johan Bruyneel said that he had a very difficult time culling the team from 14 riders to nine.
“It was hard to make the decision of these nine riders. After the injury to Sebastien Rosseler, we still had a pre-selection of 14 riders,” Bruyneel said.
“In the end we can say that the complete 2011 Tour roster has been chosen based on the strongest team from both a sporting and experience criteria.