Caleb Ewan wins Clasica de Almeria

Australian beats Danny van Poppel and Timothy Dupont

Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) sprinted to victory in the Clasica de Almeria after delivering a powerful sprint to see off the challenges of Danny van Poppel (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Timothy Dupont (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) in the finishing straight.

"It's really good to hit the ground running in my first European race and it was good to have the full lead-out squad behind me today," Ewan said. "We were all a bit lost after getting caught behind a crash but once we all got back together and started the lead-out, no-one came round us and I am happy I was able to finish it off."

The Clasica de Almeria was Ewan’s first race in Europe this season, though the Australian was already off the mark for 2018 with stage victory at the Tour Down Under last month. Ewan is set to make his Tour de France debut this season, and his next competitive outing will come at the Abu Dhabi Tour from February 21.

"I haven't raced with these lead-out guys since the Tour of Britain so that's a fair chunk of time away. It is good to get the confidence back in working together and that nothing has really changed, that is what we needed going into these next big races," Ewan said.

"I felt pretty tired during the day because we did five hours training yesterday, so I didn't feel great but in the final when the adrenalin kicks in I felt alright and overall it was a good day."

The 185km Clasica de Almeria was always likely to end in a bunch finish, but that did not deter a platoon of willing escapees from trying their luck in the opening kilometres. Axel Journiaux (Direct Energie), Diego Rubio (Burgos-BH), Dries De Bondt (Vérandas Willems-Crelan), Maxim Belkov (Katusha-Alpecin), Rob Britton (Rally Cycling), Cristian Rodríguez (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Marc Buades (Fundación Euskadi) forged clear shortly after the flag dropped, and they had a lead of 4 minutes by the time they hit the 20km mark.

After 50km, Mitchelton-Scott and LottoNL-Jumbo began to combine their efforts on the front of the peloton to keep the break’s advantage under control. The escapees’ buffer dropped still further on the climbs of the Collado de Lucainena, Balcón de Sierra Alhamilla and Alto de Turrillas, and they entered the final 50km with a lead of 1:30 over the peloton.

The break eventually fizzled out inside the final 30km, and though there were a few attempts at attacks on the run-in to the finish in Roquetas de Mar, the searing pace imposed by the sprinters’ teams, and LottoNL-Jumbo and Mitchelton-Scott in particular, meant that a bunch finish was inevitable.

Van Poppel was not lacking in confidence after his recent stage win at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, but there was little he could do against Ewan, who tucked into his familiar aerodynamic stance to finish off Mitchelton-Scott’s lead-out with a smart win.

Van Poppel was the best of the rest, beating Dupont to second, while Hugo Hofstetter (Cofidis) took fourth ahead of Florian Senechal (Quick-Step Floors).

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Caleb Ewan (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott4:35:28 
2Danny van Poppel (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo  
3Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert  
4Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
5Florian Senechal (Fra) Quick-Step Floors  
6Marko Kump (Slo) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
7Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-Alpecin  
8Carlos Barbero (Spa) Movistar Team  
9Edward Planckaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
10Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias  
11Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie  
12Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe  
13Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij  
14Luis Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
15Hugo Houle (Can) Astana Pro Team  
16Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Veranda's Willems Crelan  
17Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors  
18José Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team  
19Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team  
20Kamil Gradek (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
21Jesus Ezquerra Muela (Spa) Burgos BH  
22Ryan Anderson (Can) Rally Cycling  
23Hector Saez Benito (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias  
24Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team  
25Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott  
26Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
27Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:00:07 
28Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert  
29Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
30Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert  
31Nick van der Lijke (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij  
32Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) LottoNL-Jumbo  
33Michael Goolaerts (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan0:00:18 
34Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:00:21 
35Roger Kluge (Ger) Mitchelton-Scott  
36Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie0:00:25 
37Stef Clement (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:00:29 
38Michael Valgren (Den) Astana Pro Team0:00:33 
39Michaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
40Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:00:36 
41Jack Bauer (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott  
42Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott  
43Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie  
44Ibai Salas Zorrozua (Spa) Burgos BH0:00:46 
45Jorge Cubero Galvez (Spa) Burgos BH  
46Evgeny Kobernyak (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo  
47Peio Goikoetxea Goiogana (Spa) Team Euskadi  
48Senne Leysen (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan  
50Milan Menten (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
51Willie Smit (RSA) Katusha-Alpecin  
52Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin  
53Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
54Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Astana Pro Team  
55Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
56Roman Maikin (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo  
57Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team  
58Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe  
59Jon Ander Insausti (Spa) Team Euskadi  
60Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe  
61Sergei Shilov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo  
62Dmitriy Kozontchuk (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo  
63Jan Tratnik (Slo) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
64Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors  
65Josu Zabala Lopez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
66Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors  
67Julen Amezqueta Moreno (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
68Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
69Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin  
70Jan Willem van Schip (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij  
71Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo  
72Oscar Gatto (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
73Jerome Cousin (Fra) Direct Energie  
74Kyle Murphy (USA) Rally Cycling  
75Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Movistar Team0:01:10 
76Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:01:37 
77Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
78Robbert de Greef (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij0:01:52 
79Pablo Torres Muiño (Spa) Burgos BH  
80Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team  
81Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin0:01:57 
82Pieter Serry (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:02:00 
83Floris De Tier (Bel) LottoNL-Jumbo0:02:23 
84Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij  
85Neilson Powless (USA) LottoNL-Jumbo  
86Nikolai Cherkasov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo  
87Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Movistar Team  
88Colin Joyce (USA) Rally Cycling  
89Tom Devriendt (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert0:03:06 
90Simon Sellier (Fra) Direct Energie  
91Ricardo Garcia (Spa) Team Euskadi0:03:21 
92Ibai Azurmendi (Spa) Team Euskadi  
93Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise0:03:28 
94Stijn Steels (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan  
95Yohann Gene (Fra) Direct Energie  
96Piet Allegaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise0:03:40 
98Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert0:04:04 
99Eduard Prades Reverter (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:04:26 
100Enrique Sanz Unzue (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias  
101James Mitri (GBr) Burgos-BH  
102Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Mitchelton-Scott  
103Dries De Bondt (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan  
104Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team  
105Mauricio Moreira (Uru) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
106Matteo Fabbro (Ita) Katusha-Alpecin  
107Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert  
108Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin  
109Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
110Nelson Andres Soto Martinez (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
111Sergio Samitier Samitier (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias  
112Egoitz Fernandez (Spa) Team Euskadi  
113Emerson Oronte (USA) Rally Cycling  
114Nigel Ellsay (Can) Rally Cycling  
115Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias  
116Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty-Group Gobert  
117Etienne van Empel (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij  
118Alexander Foliforov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo  
119Evgeny Shalunov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo  
120José Mendes (Por) Burgos BH  
121Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe  
122Christophe Noppe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
123Mathias Van Gompel (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise0:04:49 
124Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:05:25 
125Mikel Alonso (Spa) Team Euskadi  
126Marc Buades Ferriol (Spa) Team Euskadi  
127Diego Rubio Hernandez (Spa) Burgos BH  
128Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:07:35 
129Koen Bouwmam (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:10:42 
DNFGuillaume Bonnafond (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFAxel Journiaux (Fra) Direct Energie  
DNFRobert Britton (Can) Rally Cycling  
DNFMatteo Dal-Cin (Can) Rally Cycling  
DNFDavid Tanner (Aus) Veranda's Willems Crelan  
DNSMichal Schlegel (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
DNSTim Ariesen (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij  
Mountain (Cat. 3) Cuesta Blanca, km. 40.1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Axel Journiaux (Fra) Direct Energie3 pts
2Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA2 
3Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin1 
Mountain (Cat. 4) Collado De Lucainena, km. 85.8
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Axel Journiaux (Fra) Direct Energie3 pts
2Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin2 
3Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA1 
Mountain (Cat. 3) Sierra Alhamilla, km. 87.9
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Axel Journiaux (Fra) Direct Energie3 pts
2Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA2 
3Robert Britton (Can) Rally Cycling1 
Mountain (Cat. 2) Alto De Turrillas, km. 92.5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA6 pts
2Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin4 
3Axel Journiaux (Fra) Direct Energie2 
4Robert Britton (Can) Rally Cycling1 
Sprint 1 -Tabernas, km. 27.10
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Axel Journiaux (Fra) Direct Energie3 pts
2Dries De Bondt (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan2 
3Diego Rubio Hernandez (Spa) Burgos BH1 
Sprint 2-Uleila Del Campo, km. 51.30
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dries De Bondt (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan3 pts
2Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin2 
3Axel Journiaux (Fra) Direct Energie1 
Sprint 3-Rioja, km. 124.80
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dries De Bondt (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan3 pts
2Axel Journiaux (Fra) Direct Energie2 
3Diego Rubio Hernandez (Spa) Burgos BH1 
Sprint 4-Almeria, km. 145.30
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dries De Bondt (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan3 pts
2Axel Journiaux (Fra) Direct Energie2 
3Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin1 
Mountains classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA11 pts
2Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin7 
Intermediate sprint classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dries De Bondt (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan11 pts
2Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin3 
3Diego Rubio Hernandez (Spa) Burgos BH2 
Regional rider classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jorge Cubero Galvez (Spa) Burgos BH4:36:14 
2Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:04:39 
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Movistar Team13:46:24 
2CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:00:07 
3Euskadi Basque Country  
4Wanty-Groupe Gobert0:00:14 
6Astana Pro Team0:00:33 
7Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:00:36 
8Quick-Step Floors0:00:46 
9Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
10Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij0:00:53 
12Direct Energie0:01:01 
13Veranda's Willems Crelan0:01:04 
16Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
17Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:02:10 
19Rally Cycling0:03:09 
20Team Euskadi0:04:53 

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