Ewan beats Bennett and Sagan in People's Choice Classic

Criterium champion bests Bora-hansgrohe duo in sprint

Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) beat Sam Bennett and world champion Peter Sagan to the line to win the People’s Choice Classic on Sunday.

The national criterium champion held off a late charge from Bennett, after a perfect leadout from his Orica-Scott teammates in the closing stages of the 50.6 kilometre race in Adelaide.

Ewan came into the race as the main favourite, and on their home roads Orica rode a faultless race. They allowed Dimension Data’s Ben O’Connor to break away during the opening laps and then rode tempo for the majority of the race.

O’Connor built up a lead of 40 seconds during the 22-lap race but the youngster began to tighten up in the final five laps, just as the sprint trains began to organise their chase.

Katusha, Team Sky, Sunweb and Sagan’s Bora Hansgrohe all attempted to establish control in the closing stages as O’Connor sat up but Orica’s well-oiled machine was simply too strong.

Simon Gerrans, Darly Impey, Luke Durbridge and even Colombian climber Esteban Chaves took turns on the front but it was new recruit Roger Kluge who brought Ewan into the final 200 meters.

The German joined the team in the winter but Orica-Scott has tracked his progression since last May when he won a stage in the Giro d’Italia. He was just one of three new signings made this season by the Australian team but despite only arriving in Adelaide a few days ago, he instantly made a difference.

While Sagan and Bennett looked threatening they appeared to lack the same cohesion and, despite a strong finish from Bennett, the Irishman was left with too much to do in the closing meters.

Ahead of the Tour Down Under, which starts on Tuesday the People’s Choice Classic threw up few surprises in the end.

O’Connor put in a valiant ride and his teammate Nathan Haas looked in decent form with a couple of early attacks. Edward Theuns (Trek Segafredo) finished a creditable fifth after returning from back surgery. Niccolo Bonifazio took fourth in Bahrain Merida’s first outing.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott1:03:41 
2Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe  
3Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe  
4Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida  
5Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo  
6Mark Renshaw (Aus) Dimension Data  
7Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
8Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin  
9Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale-Drapac  
10Jasha Sutterlin (Ger) Movistar Team  
11Carlos Barbero (Spa) Movistar Team  
12Robert Wagner (Ger) Team LottoNL-Jumbo  
13Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale  
14Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb  
15Roger Kluge (Ger) Orica-Scott  
16Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky  
17Miles Scotson (Aus) BMC Racing Team  
18Marko Kump (Slo) Team UAE Abu Dhabi  
19Chun-Kai Feng (Tpe) Bahrain-Merida  
20Martin Velits (Svk) Quick-Step Floors  
21Sven Bystrom (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin  
22Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Cannondale-Drapac  
23Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
24Michael Valgren DNK Astana Pro Team  
25Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team0:00:08 
26Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Bahrain-Merida  
26Clement Chevrier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
28Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-Scott  
29Petr Vakoc (Cze) Quick-Step Floors  
30Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ  
31Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
32Lucas Hamilton (Aus) UniSA-Australia  
33Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNL-Jumbo  
34Jay Mccarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe  
35Francois Bidard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
36Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-Segafredo  
37Ondrej Cink (Cze) Bahrain-Merida  
38Ben Swift (GBr) Team UAE Abu Dhabi  
39Alexey Vermeulen (USA) Team LottoNL-Jumbo  
40Sebastian Henao (Col) Team Sky  
41Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-Segafredo  
42Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky  
43Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data  
44Koen De Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo  
45Vegard Laengen (Nor) Team UAE Abu Dhabi  
46Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-Scott  
47Jai Hindley (Aus) UniSA-Australia0:00:14 
48Samuel Jenner (Aus) UniSA-Australia  
49Artyom Zakharov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
50Diego Ulissi (Ita) Team UAE Abu Dhabi  
51Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal  
52Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb  
53Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale  
54Eros Capecchi (Ita) Quick-Step Floors  
55Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale  
56Jeremy Maison (Fra) FDJ  
57Gregor Muhlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe  
58Lukas Postleberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe  
59Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team  
60Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-Scott  
61Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing Team  
62Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:00:19 
63Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac0:00:34 
64Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain-Merida0:00:40 
65Jack Bauer (NZl) Quick-Step Floors  
66Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb  
67Rudiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:00:47 
68Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha-Alpecin0:00:51 
69Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida  
70Michael Kolar (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe0:00:53 
71Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team LottoNL-Jumbo  
72Victor De La Parte (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:56 
73Marc Soler (Col) Movistar Team  
74Arnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJ  
75Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) FDJ  
76Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ  
77Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Katusha-Alpecin  
78Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo  
79Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Astana Pro Team  
80Michael Storer (Aus) UniSA-Australia  
81Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Quick-Step Floors  
82Angel Vicioso (Spa) Katusha-Alpecin  
83Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-Alpecin  
84Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
85Lars Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal  
86Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek-Segafredo  
87Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
88Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team Sunweb  
89Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Bahrain-Merida  
90Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac  
91Amael Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team  
92Brendan Canty (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac  
93Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale  
94Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-Segafredo  
95Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team  
96Manuele Mori (Ita) Team UAE Abu Dhabi  
97Marco Marcato (Ita) Team UAE Abu Dhabi  
98James Shaw (GBr) Lotto Soudal  
99Rafael Valls (Spa) Lotto Soudal  
100Johannes Frohlinger (Ger) Team Sunweb  
101Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:01:05 
102Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo  
103Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo  
104Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Quick-Step Floors  
105Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
106Oscar Gatto (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
107Tyler Farrar (USA) Dimension Data  
108Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team  
109Cameron Meyer (Aus) UniSA-Australia  
110Nathan Earle (Aus) UniSA-Australia  
111Callum Scotson (Aus) UniSA-Australia  
112Jaco Venter (RSA) Dimension Data0:01:12 
113Ben O'connor (Aus) Dimension Data  
114Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step Floors  
115Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ  
116Lachlan Morton (Aus) Dimension Data  
117Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ  
118Jose Goncalves (Por) Katusha-Alpecin  
119Jose Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team  
120Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team  
121Will Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac  
122Damien Howson (Aus) Orica-Scott0:01:16 
123Louis Meintjes (RSA) Team UAE Abu Dhabi  
124Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data  
125Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky0:01:19 
126Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-Scott0:01:25 
127Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Drapac0:01:37 
128Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky0:01:40 
DNFWilco Keldermann (Ned) Team Sunweb  
DNFSimon Geschke (Ger) Team Sunweb  
DNFIan Stannard (GBr) Team Sky  
DNSOwain Doull (GBr) Team Sky  
DNSMatti Breschel (Dnk) Astana Pro Team  

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