Ewan claims second place in first stage of Tour of Turkey

Sun 26 Apr 2015

Neo-pro sprinter Caleb Ewan has enjoyed a great start to the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey, taking second spot in today’s first stage, finishing narrowly behind Mark Cavendish (Etixx Quick Step) in the bunch sprint.

Stage one was a short, flat stage suited to the sprinters, starting and finishing in the tourist town of Alanya. After a breakaway group was pulled back with 18km to go, the 20-year-old, supported by his ORICA-GreenEDGE teammates, was perfectly placed to battle it out in the final sprint.

As the bunch headed towards the finish line, Andre Griepel (Lotto Soudal) started a long sprint from far back, but couldn’t find a way through as he was boxed in by Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida). After following Greipel’s wheel, Ewan found a gap on the right hand side, but despite a strong sprint, he just failed to pass Cavendish, who took victory on the line. Nicola Ruffoni (Bardiani-CSF Pro Team) took third.

Ewan’s second place finish continues his strong start to the season, after his recent win at Vuelta a La Rioja earlier this month. Sport Director Laurenzo Lapage was pleased with the outcome of today’s race, but will continue to try and take stage wins this week.

“You have to be happy with a second place behind Cavendish. It is a good result for the team and a good result for Caleb,” said Lapage. “It will set us up well for the rest of the stages, and give the whole team confidence.

“I think the team worked well together, but of course there are small things we can improve on. I think we can work even better together, and for Caleb we will look at 1-2% more strength at the right moments in the sprint.

“Tomorrow we will be looking at another bunch sprint, and again the team will focus on working for Caleb. We came into today’s race relaxed, putting no pressure on Caleb, and that definitely worked.”

The Tour of Turkey continues with stage two tomorrow, starting in Alanya and finishing in Antalya. The team will be looking to build on today’s second spot as they search for stage victories.