Ewan pipped on the line on stage two of the Tour of Abu DhabiFri 24 Feb 2017
22-year-old Caleb Ewan had to settle for second place on today’s stage two of the Tour of Abu Dhabi, after a late lunge gave Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) the race victory.
Despite his nasty crash yesterday, Ewan overcome his shoulder pain and put himself in a position to sprint for victory. With full team commitment, ORICA-SCOTT executed the perfect lead-out, as powerhouse Roger Kluge lead the way in the final kilometre with Ewan safety sheltering on his wheel.
The multiple Santos Tour Down Under stage winner used his impressive turn of speed to launch out from the wheel of Kluge and burst towards the line to claim a close second place.
Sport director Dave McPartland was pleased with Ewan’s performance, courageously bouncing back from his crash yesterday to come so close to the stage win today.
“It’s like a victory for us today having Caleb in a position to even sprint after his crash yesterday,” McPartland explained. “We started the day with an open plan as Caleb was still very sore and in a lot of pain this morning.”
“We decide to make the call half-way through the stage, which is something we never usually do. It was very impressive considering how hard he crashed yesterday to bounce back like this.
“It was obviously so close in the end and Caleb thought he had it, but this is a less than nearly every sprinter needs to experience."
McPartland also acknowledged the successful relationship between the lead-out team in delivering Ewan into the sprint.
“Roger and Luka Mezgec are really working well together,” McPartland continued. “It is super impressive to see as Roger has only raced Tour Down Under with Caleb but they have gelled really well together from the start.”
“It is certainly really exciting to think about the future for these guys once they have raced even more together.”
How it happened:
The second stage of the Tour took place in the city of Abu Dhabi and like yesterday’s stage the peloton raced along wide, fairly straight roads in comfortable temperatures.
A six-man break formed in the early part of the race and quickly rode out to a two-minute advantage, which they held onto for the majority of the stage.
With it being another flat day and a great opportunity for the sprinters, the main sprint teams once again headed to the front of the bunch to control the breakaway’s advantage. Unlike yesterday’s race the leaders were unable to increase their advantage to more than two-minutes.
It wasn’t until 10kilometres to go that the bulk of the breakaway were eventually swallowed up with just two-riders remaining out front.
The duo took their chances all the way until the final three-kilometres when they were finally swept up by the fast charge behind.
Kluge dropped Ewan off in perfect position to leadout the sprint but just a few centimetres separated Ewan from victory with Kittel successfully pushing ahead.
Tour of Abu Dhabi stage two results:
1. Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) 3:28:11
2. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-SCOTT) ST
3. Mark Cavendish (Dimension-Data) ST
General classification after stage two:
1. Mark Cavendish (Dimension-Data) 8:05:03
2. Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) 0:04
3. Andre Greiple (Lotto-Soudal) 0:08
6. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-SCOTT) ST