Ewan caught out in the EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg sprint

Sun 20 Aug 2017

2016 winner Caleb Ewan finished in 32nd place today in the EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg after a late split was brought back and the race concluded with a chaotic bunch sprint.

The rainy day saw two riders animate proceedings, opening up an advantage eight minute before the race regrouped and another dangerous split occurred in the final 15kilometres.

South African time trial champion Daryl Impey drove the split of around 20riders which included the team’s sprinter Ewan. In the end the chase from the sprinters teams behind proved to be too much and the group was swallowed up with five kilometres to go.

“We came here for a result and we knew it could be a hectic sprint and things just didn’t go our way in the final there unfortunately,” sport director Matt White explained. “The guys did everything right throughout the day looking after Caleb but after waiting all day for the sprint, only one thing needs to go wrong and you can be out of contention. That's just how sprinting can be sometimes.”

Slovenian champion Luka Mezgec was caught out in a untimely crash as the race lit up on the final climb, which meant Ewan had to hustle for positions in the final moments of the sprint and found himself out of position.

“Our last and main lead-out guy Luka was caught in a crash so we missed him there in the final. Once the race came back together our other guys were there but then got blocked on the right hand side with around three kilometres to go.” White continued.

“Caleb got through and had a good run but it wasn’t to be today for us today.”

How it happened:

The riders assembled at the start line in Hamburg ready for the 220kilometre one-day WorldTour race. 

The day began with a breakaway of two riders forming in the early stages and quickly establishing a lead of six minutes with the peloton happy to let them dangle out front. The leaders reached a maximum advantage of eight minutes before being slowly reeled back in by the main sprinters teams of the peloton. 

The rain began to pour as the two leader's advantage dropped and they hovered just three and half minutes ahead of the steady peloton with 100kilometre remaining.

At the 50kilometres to go mark, the trio were finally absorbed by the peloton and as the race entered the circuit and over the Waseberg climb, three different riders tried their chances and hovered 30seconds ahead of the bunch. 

The final time up the climb, Impey found himself heading a move which swelled to around 20riders and included the team’s sprinter, Ewan.

The South African time trial champion drove the group hard as they sat just 15seconds ahead of a large chasing group, but with five kilometres remaining the race was back together once again and the panic to set up the sprint trains began.

In a frantic finale Ewan found himself caught out and had to settle for 32nd place. 

EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg results:

1. Elia Viviani (Team Sky) 5:15
2. Annard Demare (FDJ) ST
3. Dylan Groenewegen (Lotto-Jumbo) ST
32. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-SCOTT) 0:03

Photo courtesy of TDWsport