Ewan sprints into top ten on Milan – San Remo debut

Sat 18 Mar 2017

22-year-old Caleb Ewan has sprinted into the top 10 at Milan – San Remo today, his debut monument.

Ewan arrived at the finish line in the remnants of the main bunch, narrowly behind a trio of riders who contested the victory won by Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky).

As the longest one day race in cycling, the Milan – San Remo was Ewan’s first taste of a race over 190km for the season and despite lining up as a learning curve, the Australian rode smartly to be in the mix in the pointy end of racing.

“It went pretty quickly actually,” Ewan said. “My legs feel alright. I think because the first part was easier it didn’t tire me out too much, I guess it just weakens you a little bit.”

“I thought if I was on a good day and in good position on the climbs that I could be there in the finish. I felt good in training in the last week but I knew it would depend on how it was raced and maybe today was a bit easier than other years.

“Today gives me confidence that it can happen one day.

“Going into the race having not done it before you never really know how you will get over the climbs but I felt pretty comfortable so it gives me confidence for the future."

In more promising signs for the future for ORICA-SCOTT, teammates Magnus Cort and Luka Mezgec also finished 11th and 16th respectively.

“Magnus making it to the end wasn’t as much of a surprise but Caleb, with the preparation that he hasn’t had, is a nice surprise,” sport director Matt White said. 

“In their first San Remo for them to do the sprint, and so close to contesting for the win, is a good sign for the future. At 22 and 24 years of age, they have a lot of Milan – San Remos ahead of them.

“We had numbers in the final but coming off the Poggio you have about one minute to get organised and descent is difficult as it is to pull anything together. We can be proud of how the guys rode.”

How it happened:

As the flag dropped to signify the start of a long 291km journey from Milan to San Remo a group of 10 riders immediately attacked.

They escaped without too much argument from the peloton and quickly established a four-minute gap in the first 15km. 

Despite the distance and time to be covered the peloton kept a watchful eye of the group who at a maximum were only allowed a five-minute advantage.

The gap was down to just over two minutes with 100km and by the time the race hit the Cipressa with 30km to go the race was back together.

Despite the pressure increasing up the penultimate climb, it was a powerful move by world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) that formed a group of three on the final Poggio climb that decided the race.

Sagan was edged out by Kwiatkowski over the finish line whilst the bunch sprinted for the top ten behind with Ewan finishing in 10th and Cort in 11th.

Milan - San Remo Results:

1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) 7:08:39
2. Peter Sagan (Bora Hansgrohe) ST
3. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) ST
10. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:05