Late Ewan surge seals Tour de France stage three victory

By Sports Desk August 31, 2020

Caleb Ewan bounced back from disappointment in the first two stages of the Tour de France to seal a superb victory in the third stage on Monday. 

The Lotto-Soudal rider crashed on the first stage before finishing last in the second, but was imperious in the closing stages in Sisteron, beating Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) and Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT Pro Cycling) in a sprint finish. 

Bennett's Deceuninck-Quick-Step team-mate, Julian Alaphilippe, finished in the peloton to keep the yellow jersey, with an advantage of four seconds over Adam Yates.

Anthony Perez (Cofidis), Jerome Cousin (Total Direct Energie) and Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale) broke away early in the 194-kilometre route from Nice.

Perez collected enough points on the Cols de Filon, Paye and Leques to secure the King of the Mountains jersey for stage four, but his race ended with a high-speed collision on the descent from the latter climb. 

The 29-year-old Frenchman collided with a Cofidis vehicle as he chased back after a puncture, suffering a suspected fractured left collarbone, collapsed lung and broken rib.

The peloton picked up speed with 16km remaining, reeling in a tired Cousin for the final sprint. 

Peter Sagan (Bora–Hansgrohe) made a move from far out but Bennett passed him and Australian Ewan then jumped off he wheel of the Irish champion to add another stage victory to the three he secured last year.  

EWAN'S RISK REWARDED

Ewan praised his team-mates for their contribution and has set his sights on more victories. "The guys did a great job keeping me at the front," he said. “Coming from behind is a bit of a risk but I got through past the barrier and had the speed in the end.

"This is the biggest race in the world and I'm so happy to get another win and prove last year wasn't a fluke. I hope to keep coming back and keep winning."

STAGE RESULT

1. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) 5:17:42
2. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)
3. Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT Pro Cycling Team)
4. Hugo Hofstetter (Israel Start-Up Nation)
5. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 13:59:17
2. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) +0:04
3. Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb) +0:07

Points Classification

1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 79 
2. Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) 77
3. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 74

King of the Mountains

1. Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale) 21
2. Michael Gogl (NTT Pro Cycling Team) 12
3. Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) 6

WHAT'S NEXT

A 160.5km ride from Sisteron to Orcieres-Merlette takes in the spectacular scenery of the Hautes-Alpes and features a 1800 metre climb.

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    Peter Sagan claimed only his second Giro d'Italia stage win as he sprinted to victory in Foligno on Monday.

    Sagan's Bora-Hansgrohe team worked superbly throughout a predominantly flat stage 10 from L'Aquila to Foligno to set Sagan up to triumph.

    A seven-time winner of the points classification on the Tour de France, Sagan made sure their efforts did not go to waste.

    He got the better of Fernando Gaviria in a bunch sprint, having won his first Giro stage in an individual effort last year.

    Sagan now has 18 Grand Tour stage wins to his name, putting him in a three-way tie with Rudi Altig and Nino Defilippis for 21st on the all-time list among those with at least one triumph at each event.

    It looked as if Gaviria may be in prime position to claim the stage as UAE Team Emirates led out the sprint with 500 metres to go.

    But it was Sagan who had more left in his legs at the finish and said afterwards: "I have to say thanks to all my team-mates, they did an impressive job. I'm very happy to win a stage like this, it was a great job from all the team."

    Egan Bernal stays in the maglia rosa going into the first rest day of this year's Giro, which will resume on Wednesday with a 162km ride from Perugia to Montalcino back on gravel roads.
     

    STAGE RESULT  

    1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 3:10:56
    2. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) same time
    3. Davide Cimolai (Israel Start-Up Nation) "
    4. Stefano Oldani (Lotto Soudal) "
    5. Gianni Vermeersch (Alpecin-Fenix) "

    CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

    General Classification

    1. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 38:30:17
    2. Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick Step) +0.14
    3. Alexandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) +0.22

    Points Classification

    1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 108
    2. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 91
    3. Davide Cimolai (Israel Start-Up Nation) 91

    King of the Mountains
     
    1. Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroen Team) 51
    2. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 48
    3. Gino Mader (Bahrain Victorious) 44

  • Bernal climbs into Giro lead after long-awaited stage win Bernal climbs into Giro lead after long-awaited stage win

    Egan Bernal produced a storming finish to win stage nine of the Giro d'Italia – a result good enough to see the Colombian take over as the new race leader.

    Bernal claimed a long-overdue maiden Grand Tour stage triumph following a gruelling 157-kilometre ride from Castel di Sangro to Campo Felice that concluded with an uphill finish on a gravel track.

    Geoffrey Bouchard and Koen Bouwman were involved in a breakaway group but were unable to remain clear, the duo overtaken within 500 metres of the line.

    A determined Bernal pushed hard to claim potentially crucial time in the battle for the maglia rosa, finishing seven seconds clear of Giulio Ciccone and Alexandr Vlasov, who were second and third respectively.

    The 2019 Tour de France winner now has a 15-second cushion over nearest rival Remco Evenepoel in the overall standings.

    "I cannot believe what just happened, I just won my first stage in a Grand Tour," Bernal said in his post-race interview.

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    "My team-mates had a lot of confidence in me, they told me I could do it: this victory is for them, they really believe in me."

    Attila Valter had held the pink jersey heading into the stage, yet he found the going tough on the final climb and finished almost a minute behind the stage winner.

    Meanwhile, Matej Mohoric was taken to hospital following a dramatic crash during proceedings. Team Bahrain Victorious confirmed the Slovenian would undergo tests and was to be kept under observation, as per the UCI's concussion protocol.

    Mohoric somersaulted over his handlebars after coming off during a descent, with his bike splitting apart after making contact with a crash barrier.


    STAGE RESULT  

    1. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 4:08:23
    2. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) +07secs
    3. Alexandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) "
    4. Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick Step) +10s
    5. Daniel Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) "

    CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

    General Classification

    1. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 35:19:22
    2. Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick Step) +0.15
    3. Alexandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) +0.21

    Points Classification

    1. Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) 83
    2. Giacomo Nizzolo (Team Qhubeka Assos) 76
    3. Elia Viviani (Cofidis) 69

    King of the Mountains
     
    1. Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroen Team) 51
    2. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 48
    3. Gino Mader (Bahrain Victorious) 44

  • Lafay sprints to Giro stage win as Ewan abandons race Lafay sprints to Giro stage win as Ewan abandons race

    Victor Lafay landed his first grand tour major success by winning stage eight in style for Cofidis at the Giro d'Italia.

    The 25-year-old French rider made a solo dart to the finish line with just under three kilometres remaining, crossing 36 seconds ahead of Francesco Gavazzi (Eolo-Kometa), who edged out Nikias Arndt (Team DSM).

    Saturday's ride from Foggia to Guardia Sanframondi saw no major disruption in the general classification picture, with Attila Valter remaining in the pink jersey, still 11 seconds ahead of Remco Evenepoel.

    The overall leaders finished in the peloton, four minutes and 48 seconds behind Lafay, meaning the Giro remains nicely poised heading into Sunday's stage, which takes the riders from Castel di Sangro to Campo Felice.

    Notably, however, Caleb Ewan abandoned the race, with the Australian sprinter having achieved his targets for the Giro, winning two stages in the first week. He hopes to also win stages at the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana and had not been expected to complete the Giro, with his team, Lotto Soudal, reporting Ewan quit due to "pain in his knee".

    Lafay said of his first major win as a professional: "It's incredible. It was a very tough day.

    "To take the breakaway was very difficult, but when it's gone the peloton left us seven minutes, so it was good, we could recover a little.

    "The finish was hard, but it's about 10 minutes' effort and that's where I'm the best so I was focused all the day for the support and I'm really happy I did that."

    Speaking on Eurosport, Lafay said he felt Portuguese rider Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) was the big threat from the riders who had pulled clear of the peloton.

    "I knew they were not climbing well but Oliveira I think was the best one, so I kept an eye on him, but I was confident with my legs and I attacked with 3k to go, and I don't believe it now that I just won."

    STAGE RESULT  

    1. Victor Lafay (Cofidis) 4:06:47
    2. Francesco Gavazzi (Eolo-Kometa) +36 secs
    3. Nikias Arndt (Team DSM) +37s
    4. Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) +41s
    5. Giovanni Carboni (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane) +44s

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    General Classification

    1. Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ) 31:10:53
    2. Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick Step) +0.11
    3. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) +0.16

    Points Classification

    1. Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) 83
    2. Giacomo Nizzolo (Team Qhubeka Assos) 76
    3. Elia Viviani (Cofidis) 69

    King of the Mountains

    1. Gino Mader (Bahrain Victorious) 26
    2. Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroen Team) 18
    3. Kobe Goossens (Lotto Soudal) 18

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