Having recorded several top-five finishes across the season in Europe, Caleb Ewan burst through to win the EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg for his first victory since February. Ewan, 22, won 11 races in his first season as a professional but has found the going tougher in 2016 with just four wins to his name thus far.
"It's great to get a European win under my belt for this season, it was an eventful day all round after suffering a puncture and then crashing twice although fortunately I landed on my feet both times," a relieved Ewan said of his win after Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) was relegated.
Ewan's first WorldTour victory came at last year's Vuelta a Espana, with the Australian adding two stages of the Tour Down Under to his palmares but the EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg is his first one-day win in the WorldTour.
"Of course we are happy with the result, it's the first win in Europe for Caleb this year after he started the season strongly in Australia. He was up against a top class field today and this win provides more valuable experience for him going into future races," sports director Matt White said.
The 25km of racing was a frenetic affair with the wet weather adding to the difficulty of the peloton's chase of the breakaway. A crash with 15km to race looked to benefit the leaders with four riders holding a 40 second advantage with five kilometres to go. With one kilometre to go, the chasers were caught and it was set up for a sprint finish only for another crash to disrupt the sprint.
While it was Bouhanni who crossed the line first, having deviated from his line and impeded an Orica-BikeExchange rider for the second time this season, he was relegated with Ewan taking a well deserved victory as White explained.
"Caleb is a deserved winner today, he did fantastically well to avoid the crash with 300metres to go and finished off the good work of the team brilliantly," said White.
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