Ewan adds to Tour Down Under stage tally in Victor HarborThu 19 Jan 2017
22-year-old Caleb Ewan has claimed his second stage of the 2017 Tour Down Under, sprinting to victory in a messy bunch kick into Victor Harbor on stage three today.
Ewan, who also won on the opening stage of the six-day race, avoided a crash in the final five kilometres and came from a long way back, but timed his move to perfection to win ahead of world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Niccolo Bonifazio (Team Bahrain Merida).
“It was definitely satisfying,” Ewan said of today’s victory. “It got really really hectic in the end and I thought in the last ‘kay’ I was too far back but luckily I made my way up before the sprint and had a good run to the finish.”
“I lost my last (lead out) guy in Daryl Impey in the crash so that was a big blow. But I just held in there tight and tried to jump onto some of the other wheels and it opened up for me in the end.”
The victory was just reward for the Sydney-born rider, who worked hard for his ORICA-SCOTT teammates on yesterday’s Queen stage, despite wearing the ochre leader’s jersey.
“Today was pretty tough backing up from yesterday,” Ewan said. “I went pretty deep and it took me probably three quarters of the race to really get into it again.”
How it happened:
The peloton rolled out of Glenelg for the third day of racing at the Tour Down Under, but it wasn’t long after the flag dropped that the first attacks began.
Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) was the antagonist and he gained a narrow advantage on an alert peloton. The reaction from behind saw three riders bridge across to join him out in front.
The quartet, which also included Clement Chevrier (AG2r La Mondiale), Jeremy Maison (FDJ) and Vegard Laengen (UAE Abu Dhabi), rode out to a maximum advantage of around four minutes as they approached the finishing circuits in Victor Harbor before the peloton began to increase their pursuit.
As they road into the final 30km, the gap began to decrease and Laengen launched a solo attempt on the penultimate lap to keep his hopes of a stage win alive. De Gendt tried to join him but the duo went unrewarded as the bunch came back together for the final sprint.
A crash in the final five kilometres made for a messy finale but Ewan avoided any trouble and timed his run into the head wind to perfection.
Tomorrow’s stage four starts in Norwood and travels 149.5km before finishing in Campbelltown in what could be another opportunity for the sprinters.
Tour Down Under – Stage 3 Results
1. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-SCOTT) 3:24:45
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) ST
3. Niccolo Bonifazio (Team Bahrain Merida) ST
Tour Down Under – Stage 3 General Classification
1. Richie Porte (BMC) 10:34:59
2. Gorka Izaguirre (Movistar) +0:20
3. Esteban Chaves (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:22