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Idle speculation, this, but are we seeing signs of a new on-his-way-to-retirement McEwan? He just can't seem to get past Benatti or Cavendish. Looking ahead to July (and yes, form comes and goes) but I'm practically 'giving' the green jersey to Boonen...
 

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Okay but maybe Benatti 2 1/2, McEwen 0. That was about as close a photo finish I could imagine.

Check the finish on Sporza. I don't know how the judges could even call this either way. Maybe they figured Benatti came to the line ahead and Cavendish failed to completely overtake him, but seemed like the two front wheels crossed at exactly the same time:

http://www.sporza.be/cm/sporza.be/wielrennen/RondeVanItalie/fietserke_giro_2008/1.310038
 

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Robbie's my favorite sprinter, but cyclelogic might be right. In the past Robbie would come around anyone and take a win in circumstances like today's stage. He did sort of get cut off by Cavendish, but that never inhibited him before!

Come on, Robbie. Crank it up!

JSR
 

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Robbie also went from way out, which is not when he's at his best. He's a pocket sprinter who has a huge burst in the last 150 m. Today it looked like he jumped early possibly because Cavendish and McEwen share the same late burst deadliness. If I were Robbie, I'd be more concerned with the Manxman than the Italian.
 

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wheezer said:
Okay but maybe Benatti 2 1/2, McEwen 0. That was about as close a photo finish I could imagine.

Check the finish on Sporza. I don't know how the judges could even call this either way. Maybe they figured Benatti came to the line ahead and Cavendish failed to completely overtake him, but seemed like the two front wheels crossed at exactly the same time:

http://www.sporza.be/cm/sporza.be/wielrennen/RondeVanItalie/fietserke_giro_2008/1.310038

#121 wheel is already at the 2nd line.

There was even a closer finish at the TdF in 07 or 06..

I think the guy on the inside of the photo got it.
 

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bas said:
#121 wheel is already at the 2nd line.

There was even a closer finish at the TdF in 07 or 06..

I think the guy on the inside of the photo got it.
Ironically that was Kloden in the '06 TDF. Lost a stage to Pieter Weening by 9.6mm, the closest finish in TDF history. Kinda like Johan Bruneel holding the fastest stage for all those years.
 

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Although I agree that Robbie should be near the end of his rocket era it certainly doesn't look like it watching his performances. in Milazzo (stage three) & Catanzaro (4) he was boxed in with no where to go and didn't even sprint. In San Vincenzo (9) he sprinted but stopped twice as he was cut off and yesterdays stage - he ened up on the outside for both turns and therefore had to cover more ground - he certainly made up a lot of distance between himself and Bennati (if you watch the video Robbie is clearly faster) but just ran out of fuel in doing so. As a side note he is hardly getting any support from his team - I am yet to see the team cycling together - ok so most are the B team and U23/25 at that but apart from todays (stage 12) where the final pace of the last 30 km was dictated by a lotto cyclist I haven't seen much chipping in!

Also don't forget due to his injuries he started the season much later than usual so I don't think he is firing on all cylinders yet - still a couple of more sprints coming up in Cittadella and Locarno so there is hope yet. Cavendish was awesome and Bennati, smart. I think on the whole we are seeing a gradual shift in average age of stage winners.
 

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Isn't McEwan also saying he is sore a fall in an ealier stage?
Either way I think he is slowing down and Cavendish is having a pretty good year. But McEwan will be ok for July, he'll have to do it on his own though given that the lotto team will be focusing on Evans.
 

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robbie will take more stage wins in the 08 TDF then any other rider.
there, i said it.

the tour is often very good about making a nice clean finish for sprinters. Not cutting down on the giro but the tour makes it a big priority. For guys like robbie who hitch onto other trains, that is pretty important. He doesn't have several riders totally dedicated to him in the last couple km. If his for isn't there now (i think it is) it sure will be in july.
 

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toonraid said:
I didn't hear or see anything about him falling in Giro.
He has definitely fallen...

From <a href="http://www.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2008/may08/may23news">Cyclingnews</a>:
<em>Australian Robbie McEwen is hoping to add another Giro d'Italia stage to his dozen career wins in the race, but has just one chance before his planned departure on Saturday. The Silence-Lotto rider continues despite the after-effects of his crash in stage 11 to Cesena. He crashed early on into that rain-soaked stage, but still wants to try to take his first sprint win in the 91st edition on Friday.

McEwen finished third in the sprint to Carpi on Thurdsay's 12th stage, which won by Italy's Daniele Bennati (Liquigas). He proved that his instincts for getting into position were still there, even though he was not able to hold the wheel of his rival out of the final bend with 200 metres to go in the 172-kilometre stage.

"I have a sore
knee, sore leg," he revealed to Cyclingnews the morning of Thursday's stage through Italy's Emilia Romagna. "I've got bruises all over me; I have a sore back. Today and tomorrow are the reasons I have come to the race, so I've got to try to make the best of it even though I am not feeling 100 percent."

He described his crash during the day that saw many riders hit the pavement. "I crashed into a ditch and then across a concrete driveway," he remarked. "I landed on my
shoulder; my whole left side, but also hit my right leg on the edge of the concrete driveway. It is giving me a fair bit of problems, but I will see if I can do something at the end of today."

While he was disappointed to come in third behind Bennati and High Road's Mark Cavendish, the 35-year-old will seek number 13 on Friday before returning to his wife and child in Belgium, near Brugge, on Saturday.</em>​
 

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tferris said:
I don't mean to be all conspiracy theoristy here, but doesn't this photo look slightly manipulated? Cavendish's wheel looks oval compared to benatti. Maybe its just my meds talking though.
Images from photo finish cameras are often distorted. It's the nature of how the camera take the images. For instance, look at the other photo with Kloden and Weening. See how the spokes are twisted and warped?
 

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thebadger said:
Images from photo finish cameras are often distorted. It's the nature of how the camera take the images. For instance, look at the other photo with Kloden and Weening. See how the spokes are twisted and warped?
Ah yes- interesting. Is that because of the fast exposure time and the speed of the wheel? Kind of weird looking.
 

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tferris said:
Ah yes- interesting. Is that because of the fast exposure time and the speed of the wheel? Kind of weird looking.
I'm no expert, but you have the general idea.

At home, I have a picture from Junior Worlds a few years ago. There was a big wreck right at the finish line. There is all sorts of distortion of the legs and arms of riders tumbling around. Parts of the bodies were moving fast, some slow and the images are all twisted.

The key is the very narrow slice of 'ground' that the photo finish camera keeps repeatedly taking pictures of.
 
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