Ewan wins closing stage ZLM Tour!
Rasmus Byriel Iversen takes home young rider's jersey.
Caleb Ewan has taken the second Giro stage win of his career. After fantastic work by the Lotto Soudal team, the young Australian sprinter beat Elia Viviani and Pascal Ackermann in a bunch kick. This is his fourth victory of the season, after previous wins in the Tour of Turkey and the UAE Tour.
The longest stage of the Giro was scheduled today. The riders had to cover 239 kilometres along the Adriatic Sea between Tortoreto Lido and Pesaro. The course was mostly flat, although there were a few short climbs in the finale. The break of the day, with Frapporti and Cima, was caught early. Near the end, Ciccone, Bidard and Vervaeke attacked, but the peloton caught them as well. Finally, Caleb Ewan was the strongest in the bunch sprint.
Caleb Ewan: “The team did a great job today. Thomas De Gendt and Victor Campenaerts took control over the stage, while my other teammates kept me perfectly at the front of the peloton on the dangerous roads. The late breakaway of the three riders appeared to be dangerous, but eventually it turned out in a sprint thanks to Tosh Van der Sande and Jasper De Buyst. I really hoped to take the victory, because I was already second, third and fourth before. The second place behind Carapaz was not in a traditional sprint, but we tried to learn from the other bunch sprints. That way, we wanted to make a plan for the next one.”
“We knew that today was going to be a risky finale, with a lot of curves and possibly, wet roads. That is why it was necessary to be at the front all the time, in which we succeeded well. The final turn was only 200 metres before the finish, so I needed to be in a perfect position there. I sat in the wheel of Ackermann and he had a teammate riding ahead of him. Beginning the sprint from third position was ideal for me. The sprint would have been too long for me if I was first after that turn. Then I maybe could not have kept the pace high enough until the end.”
“The stage unfolded differently than predicted this morning. The finale appeared to be tougher than you could see in the roadbook. Jasper and Tosh had to work earlier than expected to catch the escapees. Because of that, they were not there anymore in the preparation towards the sprint. Fortunately, I was able to get a good position myself. It was also a very long stage, but when I won in Alberobello two years ago, it was after a long day of 224 kilometres as well. I think it is a great thing that I do not lose my sprint capacities after such long stages.”
“It surely is a relief for me. Tomorrow, there is a time trial which is followed by a rest day. So I can enjoy the feeling of winning today for at least two more days. After the rest day, we will make up a new plan for the upcoming sprints. A Grand Tour stage win is always a goal. It is a fantastic feeling, certainly with all those strong sprinters who are participating in this Giro. This is my greatest victory so far at Lotto Soudal. I finished top three a lot of times already this year, but this win is the icing on the cake of the first part of this season. It really means a lot to me.”
This is my greatest victory so far at Lotto Soudal. It really means a lot to me.