He will be riding for Lotto Soudal in 2019, but here we look back at Caleb Ewan’s first win of the 2019 TDU.
Caleb Ewan secured his first win of the 2018 Tour Down Under – the nuggety sprinter managing to hold on over a rolling finishing circuit before being led to a stunning win thanks to his Mitchelton Scott teammates.
Not many were game to pick a winner of the stage raced over a 147km course from Unley, near central Adelaide, to Stirling in the nearby hills. Commentators, fans and spectators were asked, opinions remained divided with numerous names coming up – Peter Sagan, Simon Gerrans, Jay McCarthy, Diego Ulissi. Few were willing to back 23yo pure sprinter Ewan.
But the Aussie young gun timed his attack to perfection and was led out superbly by teammate and 2nd place getter Daryl Impey. Bora-hansgrohe’s Jay McCarthy finished third.
“I’m out of breath,” Ewan told commentator Paul Sherwen shortly after crossing the line. After quickly downing two Powerades, the young sprinter continued.
‘Tough Finish On A Course That Didn’t Suit Me’
“It was a super tough finish and the team backed me one hundred percent even after two losses and even on a course that didn’t suit me that well,” he said.
“I hid pretty well in the field and I had done that circuit before so I knew when I had to be at the front,” he added, explaining how he resisted the temptation to jump early as he did ion Stage 1 and at the People’s Choice Classic.
Team director Matt White admitted to Santos Tour Down Under media the stage wasn’t one he expected Ewan to win.
“This (uphill) sprint doesn’t normally suit a sprinter so he showed his form,” he said. “We didn’t say anything before the race, but he actually got sick after nationals and he’s had a rough last week. To do that today against those guys was a very impressive effort (and) the lead-out he got today was impressive.”
Top 5 After Stage 2
1.Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton Scott)
2. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton Scott) 10″
3. Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) 12″
4. Jay McCarthy (Bora-hansgrohe) st
5. Nathan Haas (Katusha Alpecin) 15″
40+ Degrees For Stage 3
Glenelg will be cycling central for the start of Stage 3, a stage that was originally scheduled to be 146km in distance. Due to forecast temperatures of over 40 degrees the stage has been reduced by 26km with two laps taken out of the Victor Harbour finishing circuit. Bicycling Australia will cover the action – check back to our website and social channels for the latest.