Ewan wins bunch sprint on stage 6 for second victory at Tour of LangkawiFri 13 Mar 2015
Up-and-coming dynamite Caleb Ewan has won the bunch sprint on stage six of the Tour de Langkawi.
The victory is Ewan’s second for the race following his success on stage three and increases the 20-year-old’s overall lead to 27seconds going into the penultimate and queen stage tomorrow.
Unlike the select sprint victory on Tuesday, after a well-executed lead out by his ORICA-GreenEDGE team, Ewan was too strong for a fresh bunch after the short 96.6km stage.
“Obviously today was really good to get to sprint against all the sprinters and win,” Ewan said. “It gives me a bit of a confidence boost going into the last stage.”
“The boys absolutely nailed the lead out. You couldn’t see the finish until the last 150metres so we knew we had to jump before the corner and they lead me out pretty much into it, I got a good line through and won from there.
“Actually it was one of the more comfortable sprints I’ve had, it was more comfortable than the last stage win, so that’s a good sign for the next few races.”
Behind the neo-pro, the podium was completed by Jakub Mareczko (Southeast) and Chris Sutton (Team Sky). Three-time 2015 Tour de Langkawi stage winner Andrea Guardini finished fifth.
Sport director Matt Wilson said the collective work of the entire team delivered Ewan to the impressive victory.
“I said after his first stage win the other day that it would be really great for Caleb, and for confidence heading over to Europe, to take a scalp like Guardini and that is exactly what he has done,” Wilson said.
“The lead out went perfectly. With such a short stage a lot of teams had a lot of fresh guys to do the sprint and that made it really messy but the guys stayed together, controlled it all and put Caleb in the right position.
“Caleb knew when he had to sprint, he had to sprint before anyone else and that’s what he did.”
Today’s stage was never threatened for the sprinters.
At just 96.6km in length with no categorised climbs and little ascending, the journey from Maran to Karak was an easy one for the sprint teams to control.
And that they did, with Astana taking the responsibility at the head of the peloton when four escapees established the main break of the day, allowing them a minimal 90seconds advantage at best.
Later, ORICA-GreenEDGE joined the party and with 20km remaining the gap was one minute, eventually ending the break’s day with five kilometres to ride.
Tomorrow’s queen stage, which was originally scheduled to finish at the summit of the Genting Highlands, has been re-routed to finish atop Fraser’s Hill due to weather damage.
The new 180.8km penultimate stage is not as difficult as its precursor, but just as crucial for the general classification battle.