Caleb Ewan wins first stage of Tour de Wallonie: It is great for the confidence
Aug 17 2020 03:28 am CET

Caleb Ewan wins first stage of Tour de Wallonie: It is great for the confidence
Caleb Ewan wins first stage of Tour de Wallonie: It is great for the confidence
Image: Lotto Soudal logo

Lotto-Soudal's Caleb Ewan took the victory of the first stage at the Tour de Wallonie and he's the first leader of the General Classification.

The first stage of the Belgian competition took the riders from Soignies to Templeuve over a 185.8-kilometre route that despite including some punchy climbs, was bound to finish in a bunch sprint. Ewan was the fastest of the bunch, crossing the finish line ahead of Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) and Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix).

"The whole day was quite nice until it started raining with one hour to go," said Ewan. "The rain and cobbles on the finishing circuit made it a super nervous run-up to the final sprint. My team did a good job in keeping me close to the front. In the end I was a little bit far, but that was perfect since my competitors launched the sprint very early and I could come back in the final meters.

"Lotto Soudal did a great training camp in July in the Vosges. Everyone is on good form and this win proves all the hard work we have been doing with the team. I knew that coming here it would be a hard contest for the victory. But it is great for the confidence that I can beat the other guys that are here."

With this victory, the Australian is starting to feel confident of what's ahead. "I only had two race days since the confinement and I feel that this race is the ideal preparation heading to Tour de France," he commented. "I was disappointed in my performance in Milano-Sanremo last week. It is such a hard race and the heat and the new course made it even harder for me. But I will try again in the future!

"I want to defend the leader's jersey tomorrow and maybe even the day after tomorrow if I have good climbing legs. But the fourth stage will be too hard for me. With Philippe Gilbert we have someone in great form and he knows the local roads. So he will target the GC for team Lotto Soudal."







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