Ewan looking to do 'everything right' ahead of first crucial sprint stage

First from the peloton in the intermediate sprint in the first two stages, Aussie Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) will be sizing up his first outright win at the 2021 Tour de France as the peloton rolls into Lorient for the first flat stage of the race.

Ewan has made his intentions for the green jersey abundantly clear so far, taking 17 points from Stage 1 and 9 from Stage 2 in the intermediate sprint but holding back from challenging for stage wins due to the hilly nature of both days which have been more suited to the GC hopefuls.



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But tonight's 182.9km journey from Lorient to Pontivy is Ewan's time to shine, with only a couple of small climbs included in the mostly flat route that's sure to showcase the talent of the sprinters at this year's Tour.

The 26-year-old identified the stage as one of a possible three he is targeting for victory throughout the first six days of the race as he looks to build on his two stage wins at last year's edition of the French Grand Tour.

Ewan rode to victory in stages 3 and 11 last year, both times beating out eventual green jersey winner Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep), absent from this year's race due to injury.



In the first six days of the Tour there are three sprint opportunities," Ewan said prior to the start of the race.

"In training I therefore put a little more focus on sprinting, but in the Tour of Belgium I also rode well uphill. 

"My goal is mainly to win the pure sprints. In total I see seven to eight sprint opportunities, a lot more than last year. There are also relatively few transition stages.”

While Bennett isn't there this year, Ewan acknowledged the depth of the sprint field is as good as it's ever been and conceded that being the fastest may not be enough if he wants to win.

"I think there will be more sprinters at the start this year, a lot of teams will control the race," he said. 

"I think we have the best team for the sprints, but Groupama-FDJ and Deceuninck-QuickStep also have a very good train. 

"In addition, there are a lot of riders to take into account, such as [Tim] Merlier and [Jasper] Philipsen… It may be true that I am one of the fastest riders in this Tour, but if I want to beat my opponents, I will have to do everything right. ”

If the green jersey is to be won by the Sydney-born rocket on the Champs-Elysees this time around, he will need to be firing on all cylinders tonight in what is the first of many crucial opportunities.

The Tour de France continues tomorrow with Stage 3, which looks to be one for the pure sprinters with Aussie Caleb Ewan going in as the strong favourite. Watch on SBS, the SKODA Tour Tracker App and SBS On Demand from 8.30pm AEST with racing starting from 9.00pm AEST. 


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3 min read
Published 28 June 2021 at 6:43am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS