Ewan lucky to avoid major injury from nasty crash in stage 2 Poland sprint

Mon 3 Aug 2015

Neo-pro sprinter Caleb Ewan was lucky to avoid any serious injury after being involved in a nasty crash in the sprint finish on stage two of the Tour de Pologne.

The 21-year-old was in position towards the head of the race thanks to the lead out work of his ORICA-GreenEDGE teammates before he clipped wheels with Lampre Merida’s Sacha Modolo and fell to the ground.

The crash caused a domino effect and resulted in a full roadblock of bodies. A handful snuck through clear, including IAM Cycling’s Matteo Pelucchi who claimed the win.

ORICA-GreenEDGE’s Mitch Docker also avoided trouble to roll through for ninth, whilst Caleb picked himself up to roll through the finish and later be clear of broken bones, only suffering minor scratches.

“I couldn’t have asked any more of the guys today, they did an absolutely incredible job in those last laps,” sport director Matt Wilson said. “I think the lead out was one of the best we have ever done as a team actually.”

“Certainly it was very aggressive in the last couple of hundred metres, but it always is in a sprint.

“Caleb came down, it’s really disappointing after that team performance but we are very lucky that he is alright after coming down so hard and fast. We don’t know how he is going to feel tomorrow, but he will definitely be there on the start line.”

How it unfolded:

As is customary to the Tour de Pologne, the 146km stage two from Czestochowa finished with circuit laps in Dabrowa Gornicza.

An early breakaway of five riders had reduced to four by the time the race entered the five 10km laps.

Like yesterday, Kamil Gradek (Poland), Adrian Kurek (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Martijn Keizer (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Sander Armee (Lotto-Soudal) hung at the mercy of the peloton led mainly by ORICA-GreenEDGE and Giant Alpecin.

Their day was over as racing came together at the start of the penultimate lap with 20km to go. A number of teams joined in to keep the pace high at the head of racing, and all looked in order for the predicted bunch finish.

After a perfect team lead out by ORICA-GreenEDGE, Caleb Ewan and Sacha Modolo hit wheels. Ewan fell sideways and got tangled with more riders resulting in a mass pile up.

The few who escaped went on to contest the stage, Pelucchi getting the better of yesterday’s winner and race leader Marcel Kittel.