Ewan extends overall lead with fourth place in Portarlington

Sun 3 Jan 2016

Two-time stage winner Caleb Ewan has sprinted to fourth place in Portarlington, picking up more points to extend his overall lead at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic.

After unsuccessful attempts by ORICA-GreenEDGE and other teams to break up the action on a windy day, Ewan found himself too far back on the final corner and couldn’t make up the distance to ride himself onto the podium.

The tough stage, featuring a short sharp climb, was won by Pat Shaw (Avanti IsoWhey Sports) whilst Ewan’s fourth place moves him to 31points overall ahead of Shaw and Brenton Jones (Drapac Professional), both on 20points, with one day left to race.

“The plan was to try and let the others have a go today because the last few stages they were all out working for me,” Ewan said. “It was their turn to have a go in the breaks but I think because we are a pro team we were heavily marked and we couldn’t get a move away.”

Luke Durbridge tried to get away but it was hard, especially because of the wind out there which was a head-wind up the back straight.

“It ended up coming back for a sprint but to be honest, I was feeling pretty tired and I was way too far back into the last corner and I couldn’t make up the ground in the sprint. With a tail-wind to finish, that was always going to be hard.”

How it happened:

Countless attempts to get away proved unsuccessful in the first 15minutes of racing in Portarlington.

Eventually it was a solo move by Miles Scotson (Budget Forklifts) that broke free as he rode out to an advantage of 20seconds.

A two-time winner of this stage, Durbridge made his move from the peloton and bridged across to Scotson just after the halfway mark of the one-hour race.

The duo was later joined by two additional riders, but with two laps remaining the peloton were just nine-seconds behind, and the race was back together for the bell.

Caught too far back into the last corner, Ewan tried to recover, finishing fourth, as Shaw used the tail wind to sprint from the front for the victory.

The Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classics wraps up tomorrow with a final day criterium in Williamstown.