Fifth place for Ewan as the breakaway survives once again at the BinckBankTourFri 17 Aug 2018
Today's fifth stage of the BinckBank Tour saw the breakaway ruin the chances for the sprinters once again as four riders arrived at the finish line ahead of the main peloton where Mitchelton-SCOTT sprinter Caleb Ewan took the bunch kick for fifth place.
Ewan proved his speed by winning the bunch sprint once again but was denied the chance to challenge for the victory after teams left it too late with their chase for the second time this week. It was Magnus Cort (Astana) who won from the breakaway with Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) retaining the race lead and Ewan remaining in the red points jersey with two stages to come.
The longest stage of the tour at 207km saw an early group of four riders go clear with the peloton happy to let them hover three minutes ahead.
The day remained much the same from then on as the kilometres ticked down with the peloton controlling the distance to the four leaders, Julius van der Berg (EF-Drapac). Magnus Cort (Astana), Alexis Gougeart (AG2R) and Jonas Rickaert (SVB), never allowing them too much freedom.
It appeared that the peloton were eager to have a bunch sprint by not allowing the riders more of an advantage however once again the chase was left too late.
As the four leaders passed the finish line for the first time with 30km to go ready for three final finishing laps the group still held on to a dangerous lead of over two minutes.
Sprint teams including Mitchelton-SCOTT worked to chase them back but on the short circuits the gap was not coming down quick enough. Coming into the final 10km one rider Rickaert suffered a puncture ahead which left just three riders battling for the stage win.
In the end, Cort claimed the stage victory with Ewan winning the bunch sprint for fifth place 33seconds behind and the general classifcation remains much the same. With two tough stages to come this weekend, it is likely the overall will change.
"The break out smarted us again today they rode really really strongly. I think the time gaps were quite delayed, so the breakaway were one minute further ahead by the time we were given the time checks.
"As soon as we found out they had two and a half minutes we already had Svein Tuft riding very fast at the front. Then it was panic station, so we sent as many guys as we could to try and bring it back but on a circuit like that it makes it very difficult to bring a break back, everybody's in a single line and once they get to the front they blow up.
"It was a shame because Caleb won the bunch kick but once again we only have four or five guys here so it would have been good for other teams to have more guys working to bring it back for a sprint as well. Caleb has obviously held onto the sprint jersey which is good.
"We have a pretty solid stage tomorrow and then a cobble stage on Sunday so hopefully I have good legs and I can move up on the GC and hope to get into the top ten, a top five would be great to finish of the week."
BinckBankTour stage 5 results:
1. Magnus Cort (Astana) 4:39
2. Julius van der Berg (EF-Drapac) ST
3. Alexis Gougeart (AG2R) ST
5. Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:33
General classification after stage 5:
1. Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) 16:28
2. Sean de Bie (VWC) +0:03
3. Stefan Kung (BMC) +0:22
11. Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-SCOTT)
Photo courtesy of Getty Images