Ewan fourth after a relegation on stage two of the OVO Tour of Britain

Mon 4 Sep 2017

Yesterday’s stage winner Caleb Ewan sprinted to fourth place today on the second and longest stage at the OVO Tour of Britain.

The day was animated by a breakaway of seven riders establishing in the opening kilometres with the catch finally being made just 15kilometres to go, ahead of another fast, chaotic bunch sprint.

Like yesterday’s stage, the main sprinters battled it out, neck and neck, all the way to the line with Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension-Data) initially claiming the stage victory only to be later relegated for irregular sprinting and the stage win awarded to Elia Viviani (Team Sky).

In the tight sprint, Ewan had to settle for fourth place after finding himself without a clear run to the line. Due to time bonuses on the finish line, Viviani now moves into the overall race lead.

“It was really messy in the final five kilometres,” Ewan explained. “We got boxed in as a team and never really got out.”

“I actually ended up in a pretty good position but just boxed in with out any gaps opening, I could never really open up my sprint.

“Boasson Hagen did move off his line a fair bit in the sprint but it is hard to say whether Viviani could have come around him, but the jury have made their decision.

“I will continue to try and get as many stage wins as I can this week. A few more would be great, but it is good that I have got one already.”

How it happened:

Today’s second stage was the longest of the week at 211kilometres. Already within the opening five kilometres a group of seven riders attacked and rode away from the peloton.

The leaders worked well together to quickly establish a comfortable advantage of over five minutes after 50kilometres of racing.

ORICA-SCOTT and Team Sky did most of the initial work, controlling the distance to the leaders, making sure they stayed within striking distance as the kilometres slowly ticked down.

It wasn’t until 15kilometres to go that finally all the breakaway riders were swallowed up and teams got ready for a bunch sprint.

Phillip Gilbert (Quickstep-Floors) caused a stir with a late solo attack six kilometres to go, but he was just as quickly brought back by the rapid pace in the bunch.

ORICA-SCOTT worked to keep Ewan in good position but in the closing couple of hundred metres the young Australian found himself boxed in and unable to find a gap to launch to the line.

Tomorrow is 175kilometres with just three, third category climbs to contend with, and has the potential to be another bunch sprint.

OVO Tour of Britain stage two results:

1. Elia Viviani (Team Sky) 5:16
2. Dylan Groenewegen (Lotto-Jumbo) ST
3. Fernando Gaviria (Quickstep-Floors) ST
4. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-SCOTT) ST

General classification after stage two:

1. Elia Viviani (Team Sky) 9:50
2. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:04
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension-Data) +0:07

Photos courtesy of TDWsport