Aussie pocket-rocket Caleb Ewan has finally earned his maiden Giro d’Italia stage win after a close-fought sprint finish overnight.
Victorious after beating sprint rivals Fernando Gaviria (Quickstep) and Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) over the fast and technical finish into historic Alberobello, Ewan said the win delivered “more joy than any other.”
“Everyday I didn’t get a win, I felt the pressure build so to finally get the victory it feels pretty good,” he said.
“This is the best way to repay my teammates who have been working so hard for me. We went early, but that was the plan, and they just stayed so confident and so calm. They did a fantastic job today.”
Orica-Scott Celebrate Win
Only centimetres in it, Ewan held on for the victory with his trademark low down, chin-on-bar style sprint.
“It was probably one of the more hectic finals I’ve done at the Giro,” he said.
“We knew we wanted to be in front in those final corners so I hit out earlier than I usually would. It meant I could take the best line to the finish and luckily I held on. Even after the past days I knew it wasn’t my form that was in doubt, I just needed a bit of luck. Today the team were awesome again and all I had to do was that last sprint to the line.”
It was 22yo Ewan’s second Grand Tour stage win after victory on Stage 5 of the 2015 Vuelta a España.
The Giro d’Italia continues tonight (AEST) with the challenging 189km Stage 8. There are two categorised climbs before a complex stage finale including a closing climb peaking at 12%. Before reaching the line riders cover a stone-paved 200m home straight with a 9-10% uphill gradient.
Giro d’Italia – Stage 7 Top 3
1. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-SCOTT) 5:35:18
2. Fernando Gaviria (Quickstep Floors) ST
3. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) ST
General Classification after stage 7
1. Bob Jungels (Quickstep Floors) 33:56:07
2. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) +0:06
3. Adam Yates (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:10