Australia’s
Robbie McEwen won stage four overnight for his tenth Tour de France stage victory,
ensuring his legacy in the pantheon of great sprinters. It was an impressive
sprint where no rider caught his slipstream as he gapped his rivals with
unmatched acceleration, winning by multiple bike lengths.

The bonus seconds for the win now give him the
opportunity of claiming the yellow jersey in the next two stages before
Saturday’s time-trial. He would enjoy wearing the maillot jaune during stage
six’s road stage as the prestige offers a ceremonial air during the peloton,
although it will be strictly business.

McEwen could
even bring virtual halt to the peloton by taking a “nature break”. He
has worn the yellow jersey but it was in a team time-trial where he lost it on
that stage, so it might be anti-climax deja vu to wear it in the individual
time-trial where he would also forfeit it after the stage.

Peter Fray

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