Mike Tomalaris has watched Robbie McEwen from the days the young Queenslander was the youngster of the bunch, and reckons he's got work to do to be a serious threat for the Tour de France's green jersey.
7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:36 PM

At last Robbie McEwen finished in the top three at the Giro, but have a close look of the video of the sprint for stage 9 - something's not quite right!

The confident power surge we've come to expect from the great Australian for more than a decade doesn't seem to be there at the moment.
Robbie's failure to dominate the sprints was highlighted in an earlier blog, but as time marches on, I'm afraid he may leave Italy empty-handed which would be a first since 2001.
When the roads tilt upwards, it's the cue for Robbie's departure - on that basis he's due to leave after the flat stage 13 to start his Tour de France preparation.

Go back to the last 300 metres of the sprint - it appears Robbie is having difficulty finding a wheel and seems to come in contact with Mark Cavendish.
I'm starting to question whether he has a lead-out teammate capable of launching him to victory as they are nowhere to be seen at the end of such stages.

Podcast: video highlights of every stage of the 2008 Giro d'Italia

Last year Robbie relied on Stefano Zanini to do the early work but the Italian has since retired as a pro-cyclist.
Before this year's Giro, he was adamant he had the back-up riders to do the job.
But where was the Silence-Lotto train when Robbie needed it most?
In the end he did extremely well to finish third behind Daniele Benanti and Paolo Bettini, yet it appears he may have limped home with top-end power.
Perhaps we expect too much from the finest sprinter Australia has ever produced.
Maybe there's a genuine reason to Robbie adopting alternative tactics this season which has resulted in only victory - that was in stage 2 of the Tour of Romandie earlier this month.
One thing is for sure - win or lose in Italy in 2008, McEwen will not be underdone nor underprepared when he arrives in France in July - it simply is not in his nature.