Second for Ewan on the opening stage of the Tour of Poland

Sat 29 Jul 2017

Giro d’Italia stage winner Caleb Ewan sprinted to second place on today’s opening stage of the 2017 Tour of Poland.

A breakaway of four riders animated the day before finally being reeled back in as the race entered the final four kilometre finishing circuits in Krakow.

ORICA-SCOTT worked well to position Ewan towards the front of the peloton in the final kilometres as he launched out of the wheels and into second place behind the eventual winner Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe).

Sport director Dave McPartland was satisfied with the result in what was a close sprint and the first race back for Ewan in almost two months.

“We are happy with the result, of course would be more satisfied if we had taken the win today, that’s what we have come here for, but it is Caleb’s first race back in quite a while,” said McPartland. “We didn’t really make any errors today, I think it was simply down to a split second when Sagan jumped before Caleb.”

“Sagan is obviously very experience and he knows Caleb is fast, but he out smarted him a little today by jumping a split second earlier from behind.”

With harder, hillier stages to come in the seven-day tour, ORICA-SCOTT were eager to kick things off with a bunch sprint and controlled the race alongside Bora-Hansgrohe to ensure the breakaway didn’t gain too much time and survive all the way to the finish line.

“The team rode throughout the stage to control the breakaway, we had Rob Power and Ruben Plaza up there and then coming into the final laps we used the rest of the guys for Caleb,” McPartland continued. “Luka Mezgec did a great job in the final, he ended up on the front earlier than expect and there were quite a few late attacks.”

“Tomorrow is likely to be another sprint stage and I think it will be a rematch of today, so another good opportunity for Caleb.”

How it happened:

The first stage of the 2017 Tour of Poland began with four riders establishing the day’s breakaway within the first 25kilometres of the stage.

Martjin Keizer (Lotto-Jumbo), Charles Planet (Team Novo Nordic), Pawel Bernas (Domin Sport) and Maciej Paterski (CCC) were quickly allowed to gain over a four minute advantage as ORICA-SCOTT and Bora-Hansgrohe patrolled the speed at the head of the bunch.

Throughout the fairly flat stage, the leading quadruplet hovered ahead for the majority of the race until they finally reduced down to just two riders as they entered the last 20kilometres of the short 130kilometre day.

As the race passed the finish line with three laps of a four kilometre circuit left to complete, the sprinter teams headed to the front and finally reeled in the remaining escapees.

The scene was set for a predicted bunch sprint in Krakow, however not all team’s were willing to settle and began attacking within the final four kilometres. 

A crash with 500metres to go saw the bunch split slightly but thanks to the help of his teammates, Ewan was already well placed ahead and launched out of the wheels and into second place.

Tomorrow is another failry short stage at 142kilometres with the potential for another bunch sprint.

Tour of Poland stage one results:

1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 2:56:16
2. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-SCOTT) ST
3. Danny van Poppel (Team Sky) ST

General classification after stage one:

1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 2:56:06
2. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:04
3. Danny van Poppel (Team Sky) +0:06

Photos courtesy of TDWsport