Multiple Tour Down Under stage winner Caleb Ewan sprinted brilliantly to victory on the eighth and final stage of the Tour of Britain today, blowing away the bunch to win by at least two clear bike lengths.
A breakaway of four was away for 90kilometres of the race before being caught with ten kilometres to go as the peloton began to organise itself for the sprint.
The 22-year-old was well positioned by his ORICA-BikeExchange teammates going into the finale and was able to maintain his speed after a blistering early acceleration.
“I am super happy,” said Ewan at the finish. “It’s great to finally get the win after coming close a couple of times earlier in the race, it all worked out perfectly today.”
“It was a short but really fast stage that definitely suited me. The guys did a great job of keeping me in position and thankfully I was able to finish it off.”
A solid eight days of racing from ORICA-BikeExchange saw Ewan claim second place in the sprint on the opening stage then fourth on stage five whilst Slovenian Luka Mezgec notched up three top-ten finishes.
Basque climber Amets Txurruka was the highest placed rider for ORICA-BikeExchange on the general classification in 38th place with Stephen Cummings (Dimension-Data) winning the overall title.
Sport director Matt Wilson was pleased with the result and happy to finally get the win.
“Obviously it was a fantastic result,” said Wilson. “We are all really happy with how it went today. It was our last chance to get the win and the stage suited Caleb (Ewan) very well.”
“The team did an excellent job in getting Caleb into the best position and he finished it off very very well and ended up winning by a few bike lengths.”
“All the guys are super happy to have finally gotten the win that we’ve been working for all week. We left it until the last moment, but it’s great place to have taken the victory.”
How it happened:
A fast start to the eighth and final stage in London saw four riders go clear on the first lap of sixteen and begin to develop an advantage. The quartet included Taylor Phinney (BMC).
Thirty seconds separated the field and the leaders after four laps of racing with the pace remaining high.
Huge crowds lined the streets of central London as the Phinney group extended their advantage to one minute at the halfway point with Dimension-Data lined out at the front of the chasing peloton.
With three laps remaining the lead group had been reduced to a trio with only 18seconds on the peloton and Etixx-Quickstep now on the front and leading the chase.
The catch was made with ten kilometres to go as the sprinter’s teams began to fight for position at the front of the bunch with Etixx-Quickstep and Tony Martin leading the way.
Team-Sky moved up inside the final few kilometres and led the bunch into the finale with Ewan tucked into the group a few wheels back.
The young Australian started his sprint early as the bunch began to split and flew up the side of the road to take a well deserved victory by more than a couple of bike lengths.
Tour of Britain stage 8 results:
1. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-BikeExchange) 02:09:24
2. Dylan Groenwegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) ST
3. Jens Debusschere (Lotto-Soudal) ST
Final general classification:
1. Stephen Cummings (Dimension-Data) 29:21:21
2. Rohan Dennis (BMC) 00:00:26
3. Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) 00:00:38