Ewan strikes again at the Tour de France!
Second stage victory for Ewan in his first Tour!
Today’s stage between Frascati and Terracina was covered in very rainy conditions. Despite the short distance of only 140 kilometres, it was a tough stage. Five leaders formed the break of the day, but they were caught at a considerable distance before the finish. Due to the harsh weather conditions, the Giro organization decided that the time differences would already be taken on the first passage of the finish line, which was nine kilometres before the actual finish. A bunch kick decided who would take the stage win. The preparation by Victor Campenaerts, Roger Kluge, Tosh Van der Sande and Jasper De Buyst went well initially, but then Caleb Ewan got boxed in. Therefore, the Australian could not begin his sprint soon enough, but he still managed to take fourth place. The win was for Pascal Ackermann, who beat Fernando Gaviria and Arnaud Démare. Primož Roglič remains the leader in the general classification.
Caleb Ewan: “It was difficult today, because we started uphill and it was really cold and wet. I just put more clothing on and tried to stay as warm as possible. The GC teams were not there to race through the dangerous corners. I think it was a good decision to stop the race there, but for the sprinters the race went on, so it did not make much of a difference for us. We were on the right hand side and suddenly, there was a big puddle. I think everyone who went through it, lost all their speed. That was with only 400 metres to go, so that was disappointing.”
Unfortunately, Jelle Vanendert had to abandon today. The Lotto Soudal rider is struggling with an inflammation of his right knee. Vanendert already felt the ache yesterday and eventually, he was forced to end his Giro today.
Jens Keukeleire finished fifth in the second stage of the 4 Jours de Dunkerque. The stage from Walllers to Saint-Quentin was mostly flat. Six riders broke clear, but they were reeled in and a bunch kick would take place in Saint-Quentin. Clément Venturini initially won the sprint, but was later relegated by the jury. That way, Dylan Groenewegen took his second stage victory and extends his lead in the general classification.
Jelle Wallays crashed yesterday and did not take the start today. Further examinations revealed a contusion of the left ribs. In addition, the middle finger and the scaphoid bone of the right hand are contused as well. The period of inactivity should be limited for the Lotto Soudal rider, but a definitive answer will follow in the coming days.