Caleb Ewan wins Down Under Classic

Huge crash takes out several sprinters in final

Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) came away with the win at the 2019 Down Under Classic ahead of Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) and Alexander Edmondson (Mitchelton-Scott). Ewan came through a difficult final lap after a crash took down several rivals, including Italian national champion Elia Viviani.

Ewan made it through the final set of corners and was perfectly brought to the line by his teammate Roger Kluge. There was a late charge from last year's winner Peter Sagan but the three-time world champion had no answer when Ewan opened up his sprint with the Australian winning by over a bike length. Edmondson was the best of the rest and rounded out the podium.

"I knew that it was going to be a hard one to win because of the caliber of sprinter here. I went into it confident and I knew that my form was good but you never know how it's going to go. It was a very aggressive race and that made it a little bit harder," Ewan said at the finish.

"My team did a fantastic job. On a course like this with four corners on each lap, it's hard to stay together but they stayed composed and I stayed with Roger and he delivered me perfectly." 

The win marked Ewan's first major victory of the season - he won twice at the recent Bay Crits - and his first against a world class field since his move from Mitchelton-Scott to Lotto-Soudal during the winter. The Australian, who has won the Down Under Classic twice in his career, was well placed in the closing laps and was one of the first riders to come through the final set of corners, where the crash occurred. Daniel Oss held a brief gap as he attacked in the final few hundred meters but he was unable to hold his advantage as Kluge - who moved with Ewan from Mitchelton-Scott to Lotto-Soudal - brought his leader back into contention.

The early laps saw a number of attacks from within the field with Mat Hayman - riding his final race before retiring at the end of the Tour Down Under - particularly active in closing down moves. Lotto-Soudal's Thomas de Gendt was also present at the front, while Dimenson Data's Ben O'Connor was part of the first attack of the one-hour race. With the sprinters' teams unwilling to see a break gain more than thirty seconds the pace was frantic throughout.

FDJ, the new CCC Team and EF Education First all tried to create breaks but with Lotto-Soudal, Bahrain Merida, Bora and the rest of the sprinters' teams setting the pace the race quickly became a predicable battle between the fast men.

The crash in the final kilometre certainly played a huge role in the finish. By the time the remnants of the main field came through the last set of corners only a handful of riders remained in contention. However, you make your own luck and Ewan and Lotto Soudal showed cohesion and skill in making sure that their sprinter was near the front and wasn't involved in the fight for places further back in the field. 

"I'm happy with my form and I couldn't ask for a better start. This is the first time I've raced with a full team like this. To start with the win is a good feeling," Ewan added.

"This was probably the most important one today. To get the confidence of the team up. They did a perfect job and this was the first time we've done the leadout. It's such a good feeling."

Next up for Ewan is the Tour Down Under, with the first stage on Tuesday. 

Race finish highlights

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal1:03:59 
2Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe  
3Alex Edmondson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott  
4Roger Kluge (Ger) Lotto Soudal0:00:02 
5Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe0:00:04 
6Owain Doull (GBr) Team Sky0:00:05 
7Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky0:00:09 
8Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team  
9Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-Alpecin  
10Francisco Ventoso (Spa) CCC Team  
11Davide Ballerini (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
12Mikkel Frølich Honore (Den) Deceuninck - Quick-Step  
13Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ0:00:17 
14Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team Sky  
15Lluís Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Movistar Team  
16Max Walscheid (Ger) Team Sunweb  
17Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates  
18Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First Pro Cycling  
19Clement Chevrier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
20Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-Merida  
21Daniel Hoelgaard (Nor) Groupama-FDJ  
22Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Sunweb0:00:22 
23Dries Devenyns (Bel) Deceuninck - Quick-Step0:00:27 
24Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Dimension Data0:00:32 
25Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Dimension Data  
26Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates  
27Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates  
28Manuele Boaro (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
29Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
30Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Katusha-Alpecin  
31Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal  
32Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Team  
33Max Kanter (Ger) Team Sunweb  
34Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-Segafredo0:00:41 
35Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Team Sky  
36Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale  
37Adam Blythe (GBr) Lotto Soudal0:00:55 
38Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal  
39Rafael Valls (Spa) Movistar Team  
40Rubén Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team  
41Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates  
42Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo  
43Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain-Merida  
44Chris Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb0:00:59 
45Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott  
46Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
47Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott  
48Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb  
49Dylan Sunderland (Aus) UniSA-Australia  
50Cees Bol (Ned) Team Sunweb  
51Jakub Mareczko (Ita) CCC Team  
52Remi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck - Quick-Step  
53Robert Gesink (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma  
54Michael Hepburn (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott  
55Nicholas Dlamini (RSA) Dimension Data  
56Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe  
57Neil van der Ploeg (Aus) UniSA-Australia0:01:17 
58Michael Potter (Aus) UniSA-Australia  
59Héctor Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team  
60Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Bahrain-Merida0:01:19 
61Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale  
62Kilian Frankiny (Swi) Groupama-FDJ  
63Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe0:01:21 
64Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe  
65Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe  
66Szymon Sajnok (Pol) CCC Team  
67Oscar Gatto (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe  
68Leo Vincent (Fra) Groupama-FDJ  
69Jason Lea (Aus) UniSA-Australia0:01:24 
70Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal  
71Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-Segafredo0:01:26 
72Jaime Castrillo (Spa) Movistar Team  
73Steve Morabito (Swi) Groupama-FDJ  
74Jens Debusschere (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin  
75Alex Dowsett (GBr) Katusha-Alpecin  
76Yevgeniy Gidich (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
77Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education First Pro Cycling0:01:29 
78Lachlan Morton (Aus) EF Education First Pro Cycling  
79Daniil Fominykh (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
80Vyacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin  
81Dmitry Strakhov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin  
82Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky  
83Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-Segafredo  
84Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Team Sky  
85Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar Team  
86Rory Sutherland (Aus) UAE Team Emirates  
87Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team Emirates  
88Nathan Haas (Aus) Katusha-Alpecin0:01:33 
89Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma  
90Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma  
91Michael Storer (Aus) Team Sunweb0:01:35 
92Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky  
93Thomas Scully (NZl) EF Education First Pro Cycling  
94Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-Merida  
95Ryan Mullen (Irl) Trek-Segafredo0:01:38 
96Patrick Bevin (NZl) CCC Team  
97Joey Rosskopf (USA) CCC Team  
98Miles Scotson (Aus) Groupama-FDJ  
99William Clarke (Aus) Trek-Segafredo  
100George Bennett (NZl) Team Jumbo-Visma  
101Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJ  
102Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
103Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:01:41 
104Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida  
105James Whelan (Aus) EF Education First Pro Cycling0:01:44 
106Tom Leezer (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma0:01:48 
107Scott Davies (GBr) Dimension Data0:01:50 
108Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data  
109Ben O'Connor (Aus) Dimension Data  
110Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team0:01:51 
111Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo0:02:00 
112Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension Data  
113Ayden Toovey (Aus) UniSA-Australia  
114Chris Harper (Aus) UniSA-Australia  
115Mathew Hayman (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott  
116Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma  
117Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:11 
118Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida  
119James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck - Quick-Step0:02:25 
120Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Deceuninck - Quick-Step0:02:34 
121Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck - Quick-Step  
122Ivo Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates0:02:36 
123Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck - Quick-Step0:02:47 
124Cameron Meyer (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:03:01 
125Danny van Poppel (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma0:03:33 
126Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-Merida0:04:26 
DNFMitchell Docker (Aus) EF Education First Pro Cycling  
DNFDaniel McLay (GBr) EF Education First Pro Cycling  
DNFEduard Prades Reverte (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFVictor de la Parte (Spa) CCC Team  
DNFNick White (Aus) UniSA-Australia  

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