Because the finale of stage 1 of the 2022 version of the Giro d’Italia was enjoying out with a hilltop end in Hungary the majority of the sprinters have 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 searching able to strike.
“Even when everyone firstly stated that it was not the stage for a sprinter, we have been satisfied, we did the recon and all the pieces. And we’re going into this Giro with quite a lot of ambition, not on the GC however on levels,” Lotto Soudal basic supervisor John Lelangue informed Cyclingnews.
Ewan – who has additionally made clear his ambitions for a hilly house World Championships in Wollongong this yr – has shocked repeatedly in latest seasons together with his capability to make it over climbs that depart 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 isn’t not possible, but it surely’s nonetheless going to be fairly robust to win,” stated Ewan within the lead as much as the race. “I am going to try to I am going to both have the legs to do it or I will not. It is fairly easy.”
The legs have been clearly there as Ewan sat in prime place simply lots of of metres from the Visegrád end line.
“I felt actually good. In that interval within the final km once I knew I needed to comply with all of the strikes I used to be in a position to comply with,” stated Ewan in a publish race video.
Anticipation throughout the group was beginning to construct, with the situation wanting set to play out simply as they’d hoped.
“Till 400 metres we have been nonetheless fascinated with 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 degree,” Lelangue stated.
Nevertheless, then he got here crashing to the street, clipping the wheel of Girmay across the ultimate bend, tipping sideways and sliding throughout the street. After slowly choosing himself up from the tarmac, he rode via to the road simply over a minute after winner Van der Poel, going through an evening of nursing his abrasions reasonably than celebrating a gap victory and the maglia rosa.
“He is extra dissatisfied than harm, he went fairly, fairly arduous on the bottom. However yeah, he is alright, nothing damaged. That is crucial.” stated Lelangue.
The group stated 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 a bit additional out from the road.
“Hurt went fairly quick down at six to go in a mass pile up and he is a bit bit [sore] with the knee, with the shoulder,” stated Lelangue. “However essentially the most difficult is the knee to be trustworthy. So we’ll see how he’s spending the night time and the way he might be tomorrow morning”