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Dublin: 9 °C Friday 10 July, 2020

Aussie rookie Ewan wins Tour bunch sprint in Toulouse

Julian Alaphilippe kept the overall lead while Dan Martin came home in 20th today.

Australia's Caleb Ewan, left, and Netherlands' Dylan Groenewegen cross the finish line during the 11th stage of the Tour de France.
Australia's Caleb Ewan, left, and Netherlands' Dylan Groenewegen cross the finish line during the 11th stage of the Tour de France.
Image: Christophe Ena

AUSTRALIAN CALEB EWAN picked up his first Tour de France stage win in a mass sprint at Toulouse today as Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe kept the overall lead.

With defending champion Geraint Thomas and his Ineos teammate Egan Bernal also finishing in the pack, there was no change in the overall top three after a 167km run from Albi to Toulouse, marked by a fall that forced Nairo Quintana into a successful race to catch up.

Ireland’s Dan Martin came home in 20th position and remains in ninth in the GC classification. Martin’s cousin Nico Roche, meanwhile, is in 32nd overall after his 89th-place finish today. 

Ewan timed his explosive burst to perfection, catching and overtaking Dutch sprinter Dylan Groenewegen right on the line after a long home straight. Elia Viviani was third on a finish designed for the pure sprinters.

“It took me half the Tour de France to get my win, but I got it in the end,” said Ewan. 

“I let him go, caught his wheel and just had him on the line,” explained, the stocky 25-year-old.

In his first season with the Lotto-Soudal team, Ewan has now won stages on all three Grand Tours after three wins on the Giro and one on the Vuelta.

It was a narrow win with the photo-finish, which takes thousands of shots a second from both sides at the finish line, showing a marginal victory.

Sprint points leader Peter Sagan of Slovakia kept his green jersey after finishing fourth behind Ewan.

“I congratulate him, he’s too fast for me on that kind of course, said the 30-year-old Sagan.

Colombian Bernal kept hold of the under-25′s white jersey and said Ineos would remain calm in their quest for the yellow jersey.

© – AFP 2019

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