Robbie McEwen, the Aussie cycling legend ended an illustrious 17-season career in 2012. However, the summer has seen him back into the limelight as he fills in for the Australian race broadcaster SBS as a commentator.
One more than a number of ways, it is a new role for him, especially for a man who spent most of his career finishing off races. This time around, he has to talk in the commentary position until the 50km mark before he and his co-commentator hands over to Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen, an unfamiliar position of lead-out man to Phil and Paul’s veteran sprint kings.
He had flow out to Western Australia on an ambassadorial role for a race with no plans to ride. However, it was later announced that on Twitter by the organization that the Queensland resident would be starting the Gran Fondo later on during the week.
He finally started in the 40–44 age category, before peeling back off to assume PA duties. McEwen made it known that he would not feel so comfortable racing.
“I wouldn’t feel comfortable racing,” McEwen said.
He was certainly uneasy with the idea of an ex professional battling it out with a bunch of amateurs. However, for fierce competitors like McEwen the instinct to race when parachuted into one must be certainly very hard to suppress.
A couple of amateur riders who passed him on the way while cycling in Rottnest asked him to jump on the back if he could.
However, he let them go off but as they headed into a couple of bends up the road, he suddenly bolted and speaking through gritted teeth, he said:
“I’ll get you on the corner and put you in the bushes.”