Second place but positive signs for Ewan at Giro d'Italia

Fri 5 May 2017

Young Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan has had to settle for second place on the opening stage of the Giro d'Italia after a solo rider snuck away in the final two kilometers to spoil the predicted bunch sprint. 

In a consolation prize, the 22-year-old won the bunch kick ahead of his big sprint rivals to show positive signs for the flat stages to come. 

"It was a really strong move by (Lukas Postlberger)," Ewan said. "It was a hectic finish and sometimes a moment’s hesitation can lose the race."

"There's not many opportunities to take the pink jersey so obviously it's bitter sweet to finish second but there are more days to come and you have to congratulate the move.” 

Postlberger made what looked like an accidental move off the front with just under two kilometers to go. 

Just prior, a crash had interrupted the bunch and the hesitation to rebuild sprint trains behind was enough for the solo escapee to succeed.

"We need to look at the footage. It looked like an accidental move by Bora but it paid off," sport director Matt White said. 

"The finish was hectic after a crash in the final kilometers and maybe there was some hesitation. Sometimes that's all it can take in a situation like this.

"It's the first sprint of a Grand Tour after a relatively slow day. We are all feeling each other out and they aren’t often text-book sprints in those scenarios. There are more opportunities to come.”

How it happened:

The 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia kicked off with a relaxed peloton in Alghero as they let a group of six ride off the front with relative ease. 

ORICA-SCOTT’s Ruben Plaza from moved to the front with a rider each from Lotto-Soudal and Quickstep Cycling, as they worked to control the escapees to force the anticipated bunch sprint for the opening stage.

After ballooning a little, the bunch controlled the advantage around five minutes before they reduced slightly as the race heading into the final 100km of the 206km race.

Canadian Svein Tuft later took up the responsibility for ORICA-SCOTT to monitor the chase.

After leaving the breakaway out in front to control the race, the peloton eventually re-grouped in the closing eight kilometres.

Shortly after, there was a crash mid-bunch on a bend and then Postlberger made his winning move.

Ewan won the bunch sprint for second place ahead of Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal).

Giro d'Italia - Stage 1 Results:

1. Lukas Poslberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) 5:13:35
2. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-SCOTT) ST
3. Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) ST

Giro d'Italia - General Classification after stage 1:

1. Lukas Poslberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) 5:13:35
2. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:04
3. Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) +0:08