Because the finale of stage 1 of the 2022 version of the Giro d’Italia was taking part in out with a hilltop end in Hungary the majority of the sprinters had been greater than a minute again. The ultimate climb was an excessive amount of of an ask for many, however not for Caleb Ewan.
The Australian Lotto Soudal rider was up the entrance with a bunch of three, sitting behind Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin Fenix) and Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) and looking out able to strike.
“Even when all people in the beginning mentioned that it was not the stage for a sprinter, we had been satisfied, we did the recon and every thing. And we’re going into this Giro with a number of ambition, not on the GC however on levels,” Lotto Soudal common supervisor John Lelangue instructed Cyclingnews.
Ewan – who has additionally made clear his ambitions for a hilly residence World Championships in Wollongong this 12 months – has shocked repeatedly in current seasons along with his capability to make it over climbs that go away different sprinters floundering. Earlier than the Giro d’Italia started, although, he did nothing to dampen the impression that stage 1 – with its 5.5km 4.2% gradient end – was a giant ask for the sprinters and even him.
“If I am going good I believe it is not unimaginable, nevertheless it’s nonetheless going to be fairly robust to win,” mentioned Ewan within the lead as much as the race. “I am going to attempt to I am going to both have the legs to do it or I will not. It is fairly easy.”
The legs had been clearly there as Ewan sat in prime place simply a whole lot of metres from the Visegrád end line.
“I felt actually good. In that interval within the final km after I knew I needed to comply with all of the strikes I used to be in a position to comply with,” mentioned Ewan in a publish race video.
Anticipation inside the workforce was beginning to construct, with the state of affairs wanting set to play out simply as they’d hoped.
“Till 400 metres we had been nonetheless serious about each having the pink jersey and being there within the dash and he was the one one of many sprinters in a position to be on this stage,” Lelangue mentioned.
Nonetheless, then he got here crashing to the highway, clipping the wheel of Girmay across the ultimate bend, tipping sideways and sliding throughout the highway. After slowly selecting himself up from the tarmac, he rode by to the road simply over a minute after winner Van der Poel, dealing with an evening of nursing his abrasions relatively than celebrating a gap victory and the maglia rosa.
“He is extra disenchanted than harm, he went fairly, fairly exhausting on the bottom. However yeah, he is alright, nothing damaged. That is a very powerful.” mentioned Lelangue.
The workforce mentioned that aside from a number of abrasions, Ewan got here away with none extreme accidents and would take to the beginning line of the second stage 9.2-kilometre particular person time trial.
Ewan was additionally not the one Lotto Soudal rider to crash, with Belgian rider Hurt Vanhoucke coming down as nicely just a little additional out from the road.
“Hurt went fairly quick down at six to go in a mass pile up and he is just a little bit [sore] with the knee, with the shoulder,” mentioned Lelangue. “However essentially the most difficult is the knee to be sincere. So we’ll see how he’s spending the evening and in how he can be tomorrow morning”