Preview Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic
Sports director Bart Leysen looks ahead.
Caleb Ewan took the win in the eleventh stage of the Giro. He sprinted everyone off the wheel after great work by the Lotto Soudal train. The Australian beat Arnaud Démare and Pascal Ackermann in a bunch kick to take his second stage victory in five days.
Like yesterday, it was an entirely flat course through the Po Valley. The riders covered 221 kilometres between Carpi and Novi Ligure. Three escapees were part of the breakaway today: Cima, Maestri and Frapporti. They were caught by the bunch with 25 kilometres left to the finish. The various lead-out trains rode next to each other leading the pack, preparing what would probably be the last chance on a bunch sprint in this Giro. The final straight was slightly uphill and there was headwind. Ewan came off Ackermann’s wheel and the Lotto Soudal rider sprinted to his second stage victory.
Caleb Ewan: “Just like yesterday, today’s stage wasn’t too hard to ride. It takes a little bit out of the legs but compared to some of the other stages, it was still an easy day. We did not choose for a full lead-out because we knew there was going to be a headwind sprint. So we decided it would probably be better to come from behind. I like to do my sprints like that so it was ideal. My teammates got me into a good position and I really have to thank them for that."
“But Roger Kluge and Jasper De Buyst were still important today because they had to make the final kilometres as easy as possible for me and that’s what made the difference today, I think. Because of the headwind, it maybe felt like a long sprint but it was really well-timed. To get your timing right was crucial today, more so because of the headwind than of the slightly uphill finish, so I really wanted to wait as long as possible. I don’t think it was really uphill at all, to be honest.”
The finish of the eleventh stage in Novi Ligure meant the end of the Giro for Caleb Ewan. The Australian returns home with two stage victories to prepare for the Tour de France during the upcoming weeks.
Caleb Ewan: “I am happy that I came to the Giro, the succession of the long and sometimes challenging stages will have done me good, condition-wise. Of course, I am going home with a great feeling. I came into the Giro and I really wanted to win one stage. To get two is more than I expected, so I am really satisfied with that and I am happy with how the team rode as well. I finished inside the top four on seven occasions. On day two, our lead-out was perfect, two days later I was beaten by a strong Carapaz in Frascati and on day eight, I could raise my arms in the air for the first time. This Giro was also very important to optimize the collaboration with Jasper De Buyst and Roger Kluge and we certainly got the chance to do so. Besides, the rest of the team also cooperated very well.”
“I think it makes sense that the sprinters leave the Giro prematurely. From now on, there are virtually only tough stages left, so not very suited to us. I think that the organisation prefers to have to best sprinters at the start. Although they do not finish the Giro, it still guarantees some nice battles in the flat stages. I will take some days of rest now and then go on a training camp to prepare for the Tour.”
I came into the Giro and I really wanted to win one stage. To get two is more than I expected.