Ewan wins a close sprint on stage one of the OVO Tour of Britain and moves into the race lead

Sun 3 Sep 2017

Giro d’Italia stage winner Caleb Ewan has kicked off the 2017 OVO Tour of Britain in style, taking a very close sprint victory after a fantastic ORICA-SCOTT lead-out.

The 23-year-old launched out from the wheel of Slovenian champion Luka Mezgec in the final few hundred metres and battled across the bumpy cobbles to steal the sprint victory in a photo finish and move into the overall race lead.

“We came through the finish line during the race so I got to look at the road surface and I knew it was going to be a pretty bumpy sprint,” Ewan said. “I knew I wouldn’t be able to go down into my normal low sprinting position and I had to stay a bit more upright.”

“It was a tough day, it was really windy and some teams were trying to split it. It is great to take the win after our team controlled the race really well all day.

“As soon as the breakaway went the guys went up to the front and they basically controlled the race, almost from the start to finish, so hats off to them.”

How it happened:

The riders assembled at the start line in Edinburgh ready for the first 190kilometre stage. The day began with a breakaway of eight-riders forming within the first 20kilometres.

The leaders quickly established a gap of two and a half minutes as ORICA-SCOTT and Team Sky sat at the head of the peloton controlling the distance.

With 58kilometres remaining, the peloton turned into a crosswind, the pace lifted and the main bunch fragmented.

Eventually, the groups all returned back together again and six of the original breakaway riders were quickly swept up after the surge in pace, leaving just two riders one minute ahead.

With 24kilometres to go the leading duo were finally swallowed up and the sprint teams aligned at the front of the peloton ready for a fast finish.

ORICA-SCOTT led the way in the final kilometres, allowing Ewan a clear run to the finish line.

He battled neck and neck all the way to the line and after a extremely close photo finish, Ewan was confirmed the stage winner for stage one in Kelso.

OVO Tour of Britain stage one results:

1. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-SCOTT) 4:34
2. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension-Data) ST
3. Elia Viviani (Team Sky) ST

General classification after stage one:

1. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-SCOTT) 4:34
2. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension-Data) +0:03
3. Elia Viviani (Team Sky) +0:04

Photos courtesy of TDWsport