Preview Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic
Sports director Bart Leysen looks ahead.
Caleb Ewan took his second stage victory at the Tour de France today! In a much-anticipated bunch sprint, the fast Australian launched an impressive acceleration to take the win in Nîmes! The Italian Viviani and the Dutchman Groenewegen finished second and third, respectively. Tim Wellens received his fourteenth polka dot jersey.
In tropical weather conditions, the riders took off in Nîmes for the final week of racing at the Tour de France. Almost immediately after the start - with the approval of the peloton - Bak, Gougeard, Ourselin, Rossetto and Wisniowski attacked to form today’s breakaway. The sprint teams immediately took control, but although the quintet was never granted much advantage, the escapees were only caught at a few kilometres from the line.
At fifteen kilometres from the finish - on an uncategorized climb - the pace was seriously increased. The sprinters were put to the test but they held on and a bunch sprint would take place in Nîmes. It was Caleb Ewan who launched an impressive sprint and took an outstanding second stage victory at the Tour de France! In his first ever Tour, Ewan already gathered six podium spots, two of them victories.
Caleb Ewan: “It was so hot today and I was suffering a lot. I thought about it to get Maxime Monfort off the front because I thought I wouldn’t be able to hang on until the end. On a few climbs, I was really struggling but eventually, I kept the good position. This morning, before the start in Nîmes, we did a recon of the final kilometre with the team, so we knew what to expect. A long home stretch is not always the most easy finish because timing as well as positioning are harder. Jasper De Buyst did a tremendous lead-out and afterwards, I was on the wheel of the other fast guys, so I decided to go early. In the end, it paid off.”
“The fact that my wife and daughter are at the race for the first time, makes it really special. It is incredibly beautiful to celebrate this victory together with them. It was difficult to keep the confidence after some second and third places. I finally got it right in stage eleven. Now, the next sprint chance immediately delivers a second victory, that is just amazing! If I am the best sprinter in this Tour? I think there are some really good sprinters here. Maybe, I proved to be the most consistent one, but in any case, today I showed to be the best.”
Video summary of stage sixteen: