Caleb Ewan wins Down Under Classic

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


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#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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