WorldTeam Caleb Ewan finishes second at Milan-Sanremo
Lotto Soudal rider Caleb Ewan came close to victory at Milan-Sanremo today after the Australian impressed in the final of the race. The 26-year-old Australian was part of a select group that remained after the ascent of the Poggio. In the tactical final kilometres, it was the Belgian Jasper Stuyven who attacked and just held off the chasing group to win Milan-Sanremo. Caleb Ewan still delivered an impressive sprint, but - just like in 2018 - the Lotto Soudal rider had to settle for second place.
“The first time I finished second in 2018, I thought it was a good result as it was only my second participation in La Primavera. Now, it’s a major disappointment”, begins Caleb Ewan. “That second place in 2018 confirmed that I could potentially win the race one day and that is why most years, Milan-Sanremo is a main goal for me. I knew I was coming into the race with good form and this year, I really tried to improve my climbing. I even practiced that attack on the Poggio many times.”
As the peloton charged towards the foot of the Poggio, Ewan was brought in perfect position by Tim Wellens and Jasper De Buyst. The Australian was one of the first riders to begin the all-important climb. Even after several attacks, Ewan remained at the very front of the race and was part of a select group that would battle for victory. In the descent, Jasper Stuyven attacked, which caused some hesitation in the chasing group. Kragh Andersen was the only rider to bridge to the Belgian, who managed to just stay ahead of the chasing group. Caleb Ewan still launched a powerful acceleration, but eventually came just a couple of metres short of winning Milan-Sanremo.
Caleb Ewan: “I was in a really good position during most parts of the Poggio and when they went, I was obviously suffering a bit but I still had enough left to follow them and I was actually quite comfortable. Of course, it would have been nice to have one teammate left in the final kilometres.”
“In this situation, it’s always a lottery and you just have to wait and take the risk. I took it and did what I needed to do to win. Jasper was just too far in front and I definitely don’t have any regrets. There was a lot of looking around and in the end, we waited just a little too long. But if I would have gone earlier, I maybe would have faded in the end. Nevertheless, it’s a disappointing result”, concludes Caleb Ewan.
Sports director Mario Aerts was satisfied after Milan-Sanremo: “This was a nice collective performance. Caleb was really strong on the Poggio and I am really impressed by his performance. Going into the race, Caleb already said he felt good and he showed a lot of confidence too.”
Philippe Gilbert however, was not satisfied with his performance: “I am very disappointed. I thought I had good legs, but in the end I just didn’t have the energy to play a role in the race. It certainly wasn’t due to a lack of motivation, but I just missed a pair of good legs today. Of course, it wasn’t my best Milan-Sanremo, but it was still nice to have this day in the legs for the races to come.”
Images: Photo News.