Ewan optimistic for Grand Tour double despite setback in Turkey
Australian sprint sensation Caleb Ewan rallied following a mid-stage crash to finish atop Gallipoli memorial and remain on track for ambitious Giro-Tour start for Lotto Soudal…
The importance of Wednesday's finish was not lost on Ewan (Lotto Soudal), who talked with Eurosport prior to the start of the second stage in the 55th Presidential Tour of Turkey.
“There is a lot of history here and I will definitely take it in,” said Ewan, referring to the conclusion of Stage 2 in Eceabat on the Gallipoli peninsula, the sight where more than 63,216 Allied soldiers — including 8,141 Australians and 2,721 New Zealanders — lost their lives fighting the Ottoman Empire between February 1915 to January 1916 during World War I.
“To start with I thought I had hurt my wrist, because the initial shock I couldn’t really move my fingers so much,” the 2018 Milan-San Remo runner-up told Eurosport. “I was a bit worried.
“After a while of sitting there, I could feel a bit more and once I got riding it got much better,” he continued. “But it wasn’t ideal.”
“I think when I’m in good form, then for sure a finish like this would be good for me,” said Ewan of the final 3km kilometres Bennett called “very difficult.”
“Coming in, we didn’t know how hard that last climb was going to be,” Ewan continued. “Usually 3k uphill to the finish is going to be too tough, but I had the team backing me.
“I got a reasonably clean run, but I think I was just a bit too far back and then I had to brake too much in the end. Once you lose that momentum, especially for a guy like me, it’s hard to kind of keep accelerating after that.”
With his first Grand Tour double looming, Ewan is not discouraged by the small mid-race setback, and is confident he is still on track to contend for the sprints at both the Giro d’Italia next month and his Tour de France debut in July.
“For sure, this is my first race coming into that block,” he explained. “Obviously, I don’t want to be at my best here because then I won’t be at my best at those more important races.
“So, I’m happy where I’m at now.”