McEwen at Subaru Cycling Grand Prix Noosa
Monday, 29 October, 2012
McEwen goes back to the future in Noosa
NOOSA, Australia (October 29, 2012) - Noosa has a track record of attracting Australia’s best cyclists and this year’s Subaru Cycling Grand Prix Noosa has enticed 12-time Tour de France stage winner Robbie McEwen to line-up for the race again.
Orica-GreenEDGE teammates joining him on the start line will be Vuelta a Espana king of the mountains winner Simon Clarke, Olympic silver medalist Michael Hepburn and Jonathan Cantwell, 2009 Noosa Grand Prix winner.
In the recent Japan Cup Criterium McEwen showed there’s still plenty of speed in his legs by finishing third. But for the 41-year-old, who now works with Orcia-GreenEDGE as a specialist coach, helping others win is now his priority.
“In my role with Orica-GreenEDGE it’s a real advantage to still be able to race with the guys and give them advice,” said the Queenslander.
“If the race is as fast as it normally is at Noosa that advice might have to wait until after the race. I’ll mainly be keeping an eye out for things to work on over the pre-season.
“Just don’t call it a comeback, this is purely for fun.”
McEwen confessed to being more excited about watching his 10-year-old son, Ewan, take part in the Noosa Superkidz Triathlon than in his own prospects in the criterium.
On the tight Noosa circuit Hepburn will be among the pre-race favourites.
Like many before him chasing success on the road the 21-year-old has an impressive track pedigree, claiming his Olympic silver medal in the team pursuit. He’s also the current individual pursuit world champion.
For Davis it will be a chance to rediscover the victor’s dais. The Queenslander ended the season strongly but he hasn’t crossed a finish line in first place since being crowned Commonwealth Games champion in 2010.
Standing in the way of the strong Orica-GreenEDGE contingent will be Jonathan Cantwell, who won the race in 2009.
For Cantwell, who made his Tour de France debut this year, it will also be an opportunity to ride alongside Jay McCarthy who will join him on the strong Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank team next season.
Other favourites to take the win include last year’s runner-up Koen de Kort (Argos-Shimano), Jeremy Hunt (Sky) and Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp).
But among the brightest prospects in Australian cycling on display in the Subaru Noosa Cycling Grand Prix will be Damian Howson.
Part of the Subaru NRS Development Squad, Howson took bronze in the U23 time trail at this year’s world championships. Supporting the 20-year-old in his efforts to upstage the established stars will be Chris McAloran and Anthony Murray.
In the women’s race Australian time trial champion Shara Gillow will spearhead the Subaru NRS Development Squad. Joining her will be former junior world champion Jessie MacLean and current Oceania road race champion Gracie Elvin.
But former winner, and 2010 Commonwealth Games road race gold medalist, Rochelle Gilmore will be hard to beat.
As will Loren Rowney, who proved her criterium pedigree in the Bay Cycling Classic at the beginning of the year with an impressive stage win. Adding to her prospects will be the support of six Specialized Women South Australia teammates.
Both Subaru Cycling Grand Prix Noosa races will be held on Saturday 3 November, with the women starting at 2.30pm and the men at 4.40pm.
For further event information check out the website at www.noosatri.com.au