TOULOUSE, France – More than a year ago, Caleb Ewan was appalled to leave the Tour de France.
The Australian roller was forced to watch the biggest race on television after he discovered the last minute that his team Mitchelton-Scott was taking all his bets on Adam Yates in the fight for the yellow jumper and that he would leave Ewan at home.
A year later, Ewan earned his first Trip win by ending a compact sprint on Stage 11 in Toulouse on Wednesday.
“I was ready for the three-year trip four years ago, I always wanted to go straight to the best races,” said Ewan, whose daughter was born just before the race started. “I'm back, I finally got my chance.”
Ewan's teams changed to Lotto-Soudal this season to replace the German referee Andre Greipel, and the ambitious youth was finally promoted to the role of team leader this summer in France.
But the pressure was great on Ewan, 36 professional racing winner – including degrees at the Spanish Vuelta and Giro's Italia.
After finishing in previous stages with three of the third and second finishes, he finally delivered through one of peloton's fastest talking men. The width of boys from Australia met 25 years of age in Australia, and he won the victory after a photo finish. Elia Viviani placed third place ahead of Peter Sagan, a three-time world champion.
Ewan made his efforts perfect after Groenewegen tried on the left hand side of the road. Ewan took off his Dutch competitor and put it on the line.
“It was really hectic,” said Ewan, who each of the three Tours Awards has won. “I went to a Groenewegen wheel coming out of that corner. Dylan is hard to be with and I knew it wouldn't be easy to hit. I felt I should let him get a little gap so that I could sprinkle it in a stream, and I could give it quickly. I'm glad this time I had a few centimeters ahead of him. ”
Their victory was to leave Australia just after the birth of her daughter Lily. He thanked his wife for allowing him to go and compete in France in such circumstances.
“She allowed me to come here and leave my young child in hospital,” Ewan said. “The hardest thing I have to do is come here to race and leave my daughter in hospital.” T
With the race entering Pyrenees over the next four phases, the main options did not take any risks on Wednesday and there were no significant changes to the overall positions. The French, Julian Alaphillipe kept the yellow jumper, 1 minute, 12 seconds before defending Geraint Thomas. Egan Bernal, Thomas's team member, remained the joint leader of Ineos, another four seconds behind.
“I am ready to take attacks, whether from the favorites or other riders who want to get time,” said Alaphilippe.
The next few days could be crucial to determine the next hero. After the Thursday stage and two world class climbs, Thomas – an excellent time trial specialist – will have the opportunity to get his rivals in the same solo race this year. Then it will be time to climb the Tourmalet – the first of three meters ends more than 2,000 meters this year – and a final Pyrenean stage where more than 39 kilometers are climbing.
“There are five big days to come, but we're about to do it,” said Thomas. “Of course, we'd love to be closer to Alaphilippe, but we're ahead of the traditional GC guys (general ranking). It's hard to see how Alaphilippe will go, but Egan and I have a good place. By the second day of rest we will know more about who our competitors are. ”
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