WorldTeam Caleb Ewan takes Lotto Soudal’s 25th victory of the season in GP de Fourmies
Caleb Ewan has given Lotto Soudal its 25th victory of the season. The Australian was the fastest of a small group that sprinted for victory at the end of the 89th Grand Prix de Fourmies, which was marred by a big crash in the final kilometres. It was Jasper De Buyst who led his teammate Ewan into pole position thanks to an impressive effort at the end. Groenewegen tried to surprise but Caleb Ewan answered with a powerful acceleration to claim his seventh win of the season.
With plenty of top sprinters at the start of the GP Fourmies (1.Pro), the French one-day race was destined to be a battle of the fast guys and so it also happened. After meticulous work from the bunch, the escapees were reeled in during the final kilometres. The sprint preparation was marred by a crash, which took down quite some riders with also Arnaud De Lie hitting the deck. A heavily reduced bunch would sprint for victory and it was Jasper De Buyst who moved Caleb Ewan into perfect position towards the final bend. Ewan reacted to a move of Groenewegen, who started his sprint early, and launched a powerful acceleration to pass the Dutchman on his way to his 7th win of the season.
“We came here with the goal of winning the race and thanks to an impressive team effort, we managed to take the victory. Already early in the race, I told the guys I was on a really good day so we took the race in our hands and were amongst the teams controlling the early breakaway We were forced on the front of the bunch quite early but we always were in control and it’s nice to reward the guys with the team’s 25th victory of the season”, reacts Caleb Ewan.
Lotto Soudal headed to France with its two sprinters Caleb Ewan and Arnaud De Lie, who was involved in a crash during the final kilometres. That changed the tactics of Lotto Soudal in the end but still it could manage to take victory due to an impressive Jasper De Buyst.
“The original plan was that Jasper would drop Arnaud off for the sprint, with me tucked in his wheel, due to the difference in size obviously. That way we were supposed to try and go for a 1-2 but unfortunately that changed as Arnaud was involved in the big crash, which I heard happening just behind me. That crash made it a really small group in the end and so it was a really difficult final with Jasper having to go on the front really early. But he did such an impressively long pull – in a headwind as well - and delivered me perfectly. I could go straight onto the wheel of Groenewegen and I was able to accelerate around him. I wasn’t really surprised by his move as I expected that someone would go early. With the entry of the corner quite far from the line but the exit from the bend maybe too close to the line, it was a tough call. I decided to wait a little bit and in the end it worked out perfectly. With the slightly rising finish, it was really a sprint to my liking. It was just a pity that Arnaud wasn’t there in the end, because with the lead-out Jasper did, we could both have been on the podium maybe”, concludes the Australian.
Apart from several abrasions, a disappointed Arnaud De Lie did not incur any major injuries after being involved in a crash.
Image: Photo News.