Ewan 10th on Tour of Beijing stage 3Sun 12 Oct 2014
20-year-old Caleb Ewan has finished 10th on stage three of the Tour of Beijing, swept up in the closing metres after hitting the front in the final straight.
The longest day of the 2014 race, the 176km stage from Yanqing to Qianjiadian saw riders negotiate two intermediate sprints and as many as seven categorised climbs.
With a fast run into the finish the race was together as ORICA-GreenEDGE hit the front in the closing kilometres in effort to deliver Ewan to the line.
Maneuvering a tight bend with 500m to race, Ewan hit the front shortly after, but wasn’t able to hold on as he was swamped from behind. Tyler Farrar (GRS) came from a long way back to take the stage victory.
“There was two options to approach today’s sprint,” sport director Matt White explained.
“One was to take it from the front and lead it out as our guys did and the other one was to risk a little bit and come through from behind.
“I think the guys did an excellent job, they dropped Caleb off where they needed to, I don’t think it was too early, it was just a very very fast sprint.”
Officially joining the ORICA-GreenEDGE roster on October 1, Ewan is racing just his second WorldTour level race, his first with the outfit. White said the early races were a process to go through and that each one is a learning experience for the young Australian.
“The kid is 20-years-old,” White said.
“The sprints in under 23’s are a lot different. Usually there is no team strong enough to control a race and the sprints are scrappy.
“In a race like today it’s a difference in depth. The depth of under 23 to WorldTour level is huge and he is realising that here but it is all a learning experience.”
After 26km of racing a main break of six riders formed for the day.
Nario Quintana (MOV), Julien Berard (ALM), Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier (FDJ), Julian Alaphilippe (OPQ), Michal Golas (OPQ), Kasten Kroon (TCS) were granted a little more room than yesterday’s move, extending to a maximum advantage of just over four minutes.
As the race hit the penultimate climb, the gap began to diminish significantly and eventually with just under 15km left to ride the race was back together, looking set for the expected bunch sprint finish.
Australian Adam Hansen (LTB) tried his trademark late solo attack and Carlos Betancur (ALM) followed suit, but neither were successful.
Tomorrow’s penultimate stage four of the 2014 Tour of Beijing is the queen stage, set to determine the overall victor.