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by Shane Stokes
January 18, 2018
Caleb Ewan dashes into ochre on stage 2 of the Tour Down Under; Steve Morabito after dislocating shoulder: ‘I hope to start again tomorrow’; Tour Down Under stage 3 shortened due to extreme weather forecast; Lappartient: ‘Froome is not a rider like any other…he has more money’; Former pro Gutierrez opens up about depression and anxiety; Girdlestone performs solidly in first UCI race after near-fatal crash; Joaquim Rodriguez returns to racing; Video: ‘240-250 Watts – really easy’
STIRLING, Australia (CT) – Few rated Caleb Ewan’s chances on stage 2 of the 2018 Santos Tour Down Under. And not without reason: he’d been beaten by Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) in the People’s Choice Classic; he’d been beaten by Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) on stage 1; and the uphill drag into Stirling suited Sagan and others far more than it did the pint-sized Australian.
But in the end, Ewan didn’t just win the stage; he did so convincingly, putting himself into the ochre leader’s jersey in the process. Even better for Mitchelton-Scott, Ewan’s lead-out man Daryl Impey was second on the stage, the South African sliding into the same position on GC as a result. Sagan would have to settle for fourth, behind teammate Jay McCarthy.
The victory is Ewan’s seventh at the Tour Down Under, but the one he’s most proud of. “It’s probably more exciting winning on a stage that you’re a little bit unsure about going into,” Ewan said. “The team … we were a little bit unsure. Obviously by this time last year I had a few wins … so I think maybe my confidence probably went down a little bit.
“But it was great to see the team’s confidence didn’t go down at all and they backed me on a finish that probably didn’t suit me that well.”
Mitchelton-Scott went into the stage with both Ewan and Impey as potential candidates for the final sprint. Ewan didn’t decide to take the reins until just a few hundred metres before the line.
Click through here to read the full report on CyclingTips, and here to see a photo gallery.