May 12, 2017
Caleb Ewan turns frustration into elation with elusive stage victory.
Alberobello, 12 May 2017 – Australia's Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) claimed his first ever stage victory at the Giro d'Italia as he outsprinted Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) and Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) in a spectacular bunch gallop in Alberobello after Dmitriy Kozontchuk (Gazprom-Rusvelo) and Giuseppe Fonzi (Wilier Triestina) got reined in with 20km to go. Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) retained the Maglia Rosa for the fourth day.
The victory marked a turn around in fortune for the Australian, after bad luck has hampered some of his chances on the earlier sprint stages at the Italian Grand Tour.
“It feels so good after the first few disappointments I've had. I don't think I've felt so good before. It was a bit crazy at the end. We got caught too far back at about three kilometres to go. But we found each other. We didn't panic. The boys did a perfect job.”
"This win has probably brought me more joy than any other," Ewan said at the finish. "Everyday I didn't get a win, I felt the pressure build so to finally get the victory it feels pretty good."
"This is the best way to repay my teammates who have been working so hard for me. We went early, but that was the plan, and they just stayed so confident and so calm. They did a fantastic job today."
1 - Caleb Ewan (Orica - Scott) 224km in 5h35’18”, average speed 40.033km/h
2 - Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) s.t.
3 - Sam Bennet (Bora - Hansgrohe) s.t.
1 - Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors)
2 - Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) a 6"
3 - Adam Yates (Orica - Scott) a 10"
How it happened: Despite a lumpy start and finish, stage seven of the Giro d'Italia offered another opportunity for a bunch sprint into Alberobello. Just three riders rode into the breakaway, before it shortly dropped down to just two, making the long 224km stage more simple for the sprint teams to control. Juul-Jensen shared the duties at the front of the peloton with Quickstep Floors and Lotto-Soudal and the gap never reached four-minutes.
As the race approached the technical and complicated finish, the intensity stepped up as outfits tried to keep their leaders in front and out of danger. The race was back together with 14km to go and ORICA-SCOTT hit the front. After a final lead out from Mezgec, Ewan launched early to navigate the most direct line to the finish, just holding onto the victory in a final lunge.
The race leader Bob Jungels said: “It was a bit crazy today but I had to ride at the front in the last ten kilometres to come home safe. It's not a disappointment for our team to not win with Fernando Gaviria today, because he did a great sprint and the team helped him. It's no shame to lose against Caleb Ewan who is very fast.”
Maglia Rosa (pink), general classification leader, sponsored by Enel - Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors)
Maglia Ciclamino (cyclamen), sprinter classification leader, sponsored by Segafredo - Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors)
Maglia Azzurra (blue), King of the Mountains classification leader, sponsored by Banca Mediolanum - Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates)
Maglia Bianca (white), young rider general classification leader, sponsored by Eurospin - Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors)
Stage 8 Preview
Stage 8 – Molfetta-Peschici 189km - total elevation 2,500m
The route is on flat and straight roads in the first 90km, while the following 100km are constantly undulating, with several curves and changes of direction. Past Manfredonia, the stage clears the Monte Sant’Angelo categorised climb, and then takes the entire scenic route, all the way to Peschici (with a KOM climb in Coppa Santa Tecla and an intermediate sprint in Vieste).
Stage 7 Results and GC