One Way Road: The Autobiography of Three Time Tour de France Green Jersey Winner Robbie McEwen
Born in Queensland, Australia, McEwen first realised that he was incredibly competitive at his first grade sports day. He spent his teen years winning just about every possible title for his age group at BMX, before discovering road cycling at 18. Spells with the Australian Institute of Sport gave McEwen a chance to compete in Europe, the home of road cycling, and he impressed, earning a professional contract with the Rabobank team in 1996, just six years after he'd first picked up a road bike. McEwen soon established himself as one of the foremost road sprinters of his generation. He took his first ever stage win at the Tour de France in the celebrated final stage of the race in 1999, on the Champs Elyse s. But it was between 2002 and 2007 that he had a legitimate claim to being the fastest sprinter in the world. He won green jerseys in 2002, 2004 and 2006, and along the way claimed 11 more Tour de France stages to add to the one he'd won in 1999. The 2004 green jersey was memorable for the fact that McEwen rode most of that Tour with a broken back, having cracked a vertebrae in a crash early in the race. McEwen also won 12 stages of the Giro d'italia, commonly held to be second only in prestige to the Tour de France, and was narrowly outsprinted in the 2002 world championships, gaining a silver medal. McEwen is renowned for being a forthright character, a favourite among fans and respected by his competitors. Few cyclists have ever approached the sport in such a detailed way, and few have been as competitive. He now rides for Lance Armstrong's RadioShack team, still competing at the very highest level.