• Caleb Ewan emerged from behind Sam Bennett to take out Stage 3 of the Tour de France (Getty)Source: Getty
Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) threaded the needle as he picked his way through his sprint competitors on Stage 3 of the Tour de France to claim a famous win.
By
SBS Cycling Central

1 Sep 2020 - 4:18 AM 

It was a pulsating win for Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan and his Lotto Soudal teammates were pumped up as well after their first win of the 2020 Tour de France. Ewan's rivals were left ruing a missed opportunity.

Ewan comes from nowhere to win
Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) won the bunch dash into Sisteron, taking stage honours after a drag race between the sprinters.

Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal) 145th

"A lot has been said and written but we never panicked," said De Buyst. "OK, we have lost two men, but we have the fastest man on two wheels. We had to have faith in that.

"It was a strange final kilometre. At 600 metres from the finish, I was in the lead, but I couldn't find Caleb. Apparently, it was the right decision for him. He's not the hardest sprinter to work for. You just have to keep him in front.

"If everything falls right, he can repeat what he did last year."

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) 128th 

We had a plan to sprint with and bring him in a good position," said De Gendt. "It wasn't really my job to bring him in the position, but the guys did perfect work and he won, and you cannot do anything better if he wins.

"I was sitting in the back. I was out of the stress, behind the crash and then I came back. I didn't see anything, I just heard that he won. I didn't know how close it was and I'll see the images on the bus. Now, we'll have a celebration this evening.

"Even our sports director wasn't sure. He asked us if the announcer say Caleb won. We said yes, he won, so it must have been really close if even the sports director didn't see the finish."

Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 2nd

"It's always guys who are looking for my wheel and can't go first," said Bennett, "so I just gave the guys another lead-out. It was just a headwind and it was easy for someone to come off the wheel. My legs weren't the best but it's enough."

When asked whether there was anything he would change about the sprint Bennett replied, "I think it was just a matter of luck."

"It was nice [to have Julian in yellow], but we've got to stay focussed."

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 58th, 1st overall

"We had a really good day. The team really controlled everything. We tried to go for the sprint and Sam got second today.

"You can't see, but I'm smiling. I'm really happy to wear the yellow jersey, we defended it today and we'll do it again tomorrow.

"Tomorrow is a big day, there's a big climb up to the finish but I hope we're going to do it. We'll take it day by day and see what happens."

Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) 15th

"My sprint never really got started today," said Kristoff. "I was boxed in at the finish and couldn't open up. The legs weren't super either. I will shift my focus now to the team and supporting Tadej [Pogačar].

"My personal goals come later in the season for the classics, so I'll have a couple more sprint opportunities here but I'll be looking out for the overall team goals mainly."

The Tour de France continues with the first summit finish of the race, the Orcières-Merlette, with coverage from 9.15pm AEST on the SBS SKODA Tour Tracker, 9.30pm on SBS VICELAND and 10.30pm on SBS HD.