Ewan sprints to victory on the longest stage at the Tour of PolandTue 1 Aug 2017
Giro d’Italia stage winner Caleb Ewan has sprinted to victory on today’s lengthy stage four at the Tour of Poland.
After a perfectly executed lead-out from Slovenian champion Luka Mezgec, Ewan was able to launch from the wheel in the final few hundred metres and take a convincing victory by a couple of bike lengths.
After a close second place on stage one, the 23-year-old was pleased to get things right today and come away with a win on the long and hot 238kilometre stage.
“It was good to get the win today, it was pretty frustrating on the first stage coming second as I knew if I got out when I wanted and started sprinting then I could have won,” Ewan explained. “Today worked out perfectly, Luka delivered me really well and it was good to have no real hurdles in my way so I could start sprinting when I wanted to and it payed off.”
“This year I’ve had to prove myself over long distances and I think it has often been a bit of a question mark whether I can survive longer races.
"With this win today being over 230kilometres and also my stage win at the Giro d’Italia it shows that I can still sprint after a long, hard stage.”
Sport director Dave McPartland was happy that the team were able to learn from their small mistakes on the first two sprint stages and execute the plan well today to achieve the victory.
“We had a really good debrief after the first two sprint stages and we discussed some new ideas for how to do things in the final,” said McPartland. "We put things into action today and I am pleased it all worked out."
“We used Caleb’s strengths and Luka’s strengths well, they sat a little further back in the bunch and came together really late and Luka did his job to perfection in the final.
"The whole team raced really well together and so it's great to come away with this win.”
How it happened:
Stage four, the longest stage of the Tour of Poland, kicked off with a breakaway of six riders animiting the race, sucessfully breaking away in the early stages.
With sweltering hot conditions the peloton allowed the escapees to open up their lead, riding out to a maximum advantage of six minutes.
As the kilometres ticked down, gradually the distance to the breakaway reduced and they lost one rider, leaving five at the front.
With 20kilometres to go the gap hovered around one minute with Rob Power and Ruben Plaza sent to the front of the bunch to represent ORICA-SCOTT with the steady chase.
Inside the final 10kilometres one rider remained ahead but in the end it came down to a much hoped for bunch sprint.
Mezgec positioned himself well in the final 500metres with Ewan tight on his wheel and with a clear run to the line the 23-year-old displayed his explosive power to claim the stage victory ahead of Danny van Poppel (Team Sky) and the race leader Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe).
Tour of Poland stage four results:
1. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-SCOTT) 5:38:49
2. Danny van Poppel (Team Sky) ST
3. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) ST
General classification after stage four:
1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 15:41:47
2. Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing) +0:10
3. Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:16
9. Adam Yates (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:29
Photos courtesy of TDWsport