Australia’s Robbie McEwen won’t contest this week’s Eneco Tour after experiencing further knee pain. McEwen had hoped to contest the Belgian/Dutch race to salvage some of the 2009 season, during which he has been plagued by injury.
“Doctors can’t guarantee him that his knee will support the intense, repetitive efforts of racing,” Katusha’s Bart Leysen told AFP.
McEwen is due to undergo surgery to have one of the two screws in his tibia removed on August 25. He will have the second removed after his final race for the season in mid-October.
McEwen suffered a broken leg in an accident during stage two of the Tour of Belgium, his return to racing after missing the Giro d’Italia due to injuries sustained in a crash during the Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen. McEwen has competed once since the Belgian accident, finishing second to Mark Cavendish at a post-Tour criterium in Aalst.
Despite being in the later years of a decorated career, McEwen has no intention of easing up just yet. He is intent on beating star sprinter Cavendish before hanging up his bicycle, and recently announced the extension of his contract with Katusha.
“Signed with Katusha for 2010. Hope to push out one more season after that in 2011,” McEwen wrote on his Twitter page.
The Eneco Tour starts today with a 4.4km prologue in Rotterdam. The event covers 1128.1km before ending in Amersfoort next Tuesday.
Katusha’s Eneco roster includes: Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun), Nikita Eskov (Rus), Alexander Markov (Rus), Guennadi Mikhailov (Rus), Alexander Serov (Rus), Nikolai Troussov (Rus), Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) and Maxime Vantomme (Bel).
© AFP 2009