Ewan makes it a triple with stage 4 victory at Tour Down Under

Fri 20 Jan 2017

22-year-old Caleb Ewan has once again out-sprinted some of the world’s best cyclists to win stage four of the Tour Down Under, his third victory this week.

A desperate chase and late catch of solo breakaway survivor Jack Bauer (Quickstep) made for another hectic finish, but Ewan, with the help of ORICA-SCOTT teammate Daryl Impey, kept his cool to make another well-timed move up the finish straight for the win. 

The result backs up a dream start to the 2017 season for Ewan, with victories at the People’s Choice Classic and stages one and three of the Tour Down Under. Each finale presented its own challenge but concluded with the same result.

“I really couldn’t have asked for a better start to the year,” Ewan said. “My team again did an amazing job. They really backed me on a circuit that could have gone either way and I think you saw on TV that they really committed to the chase and they were really committed to another win today.”

“All of the wins I have had in the past few days, the finishes have been really different. I knew this one was going to be tough but it was tough for all of the sprinters 

“Today was a tricky one. It is hard for a lead out train to stay together down the gorge. I was with Daryl Impey for most of it and he did a mega job. He had to move me up but then he pretty much took me to 300metres to go too so it was an amazing turn.”

Ewan credited the team and his growing experience and strength for his success that today saw him once again edge out world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Danny Van Poppel (Tream Sky).

“All of the victories are thanks to the team,” Ewan said. “Without them, and without their support obviously I couldn’t have got the victories that I have. It’s a victory for me but it’s also a massive victory for the team.”

“I’m another year stronger, I’m not fatiguing as much as I used to and I seem to be able to back up stage after stage at the moment.

“Tomorrow we will go for Gerro (Simon Gerrans) and Esteban (Chaves), so I will go back into a support role.”

How it happened: 

In what was likely the final chance for the opportunist, the peloton were restless as they rolled out of Norwood for stage four of the Tour Down Under.

A break away of three, featuring Cameron Meyer (Uni-SA), Jack Bauer (Quickstep) and Ondrej Chik (Team Bahrain Merida), formed but with Chik less than a minute behind in the general classification, the trio weren't given much breathing room.

Meyer and Bauer eventually dropped Chik in a last ditched effort to break the elastic to the bunch. 

Behind, Will Clarke (Cannondale-Drapac), Michael Valoren (Astana) and Lars BaK (Lotto-Soudal) tried to bridge across to the leading duo but Clarke suffered an untimely puncture and the remaining two were also swept up by the peloton.

When Meyer and Bauer extended their lead to 1minute 50seconds ORICA-SCOTT recognised the danger and sent riders to the front to assist in the chase.

The final 25km of the stage descended through the gorge which aided Bauer, after he left Meyer in his wake, but he fell agonisingly short and was caught in the final four kilometres. 

A hectic finish saw sprinters without full lead out trains but Ewan had teammate Impey to move him up the bunch and then assist in shutting down the early sprint of Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe).

Jumping off Impey and onto the Team Sky train, Ewan picked the perfect moment to hit the front on the uphill drag to the line for his third win in four days.

Tour Down Under – Stage 4 Results

1. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-SCOTT) 3:45:19
2. Peter Sagan (Bora Hangrohe) ST
3. Danny Van Poppel (Team Sky) ST 

Tour Down Under – Stage 4 General Classification

1. Richie Porte (BMC Racing Team) 14:20:18
2. Gorka Izaguirre (Movistar) +0:20
3. Esteban Chaves (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:22