Singapore: Three-times Tour de France points winner Robbie McEwen would happily trade one of his green jerseys for the Olympic glory that eluded him, the experienced Australian sprinter said on Tuesday.
"I`d swap one Tour de France green jersey but only for gold," the 39-year-old said via a teleconference from Singapore.
The Brisbane-born sprinter made three failed attempts at winning an Olympic road race medal but insists that despite finishing empty-handed in 1996, 2000 and 2004, he had given it his best shot on each occasion.
"Not really disappointed, because each time I went in, I did the very best I could. No need for excuses after the race, I gave it everything.”
"Each time I was a little bit better but out of the medals... but that`s the nature of racing.”
"To have a medal would have been very nice of course but that`s part of racing and also my fellow competitors did not make it possible for me to win a medal," said the GreenEdge rider, who is participating in next month`s OCBC Cycle Singapore.
McEwen added that despite major stage races taking place shortly before the Summer Games, professional riders were as enthused by the prospect of competing at the Olympics as any other athlete.
"It may not be something you build your season around but even as professionals, you want to be part of it if you get the chance.”
"It is very special to represent your country at an Olympic Games, even more so than a World Championships because the Olympics are only once every four years.”
"It`s a very unique event and all the pro guys always get excited about going to the Olympics. I was very fortunate to go three times and it`s something that I will cherish being a part of."