It was a stage of action and drama at Tour Down Under. The GC leaders battled for bonus seconds. A first WorldTour victory went to Jasper Philipsen after Caleb Ewan was relegated for head butting. Race leader Patrick Bevin was involved in a crash and had to chase to get back with the peloton.
Stage 5: Glenelg to Strathalbyn, 149.5km
Lotto-Soudal’s Caleb Ewan was first across the line in Strathalbyn after a tight, textbook sprint against Jasper Philipsen (UAE-TeamEmirates) in the last 400m. It was the head butts that occurred earlier in the run in that saw the young Belgian on the top step of the podium and the the sprint ace relegated to last place.
Patrick Bevin (CCC) crashed inside the last the 10km. Battered and bloody he chased hard to get back and retain the ochre jersey without time loss. The top three on GC remains the same, leaving it all to be decided on Willunga Hill on stage six.
Thoughts on the finale
A first WorldTour win is great for the palmares and yet I feel for the talented young Belgian not having that adrenaline fuelled, arms in the air yell of elation. Judging by his performances in these Aussie sprint stages (top 10 on stages 1 and 2), I’m pretty sure he won’t have to wait too long. I also have to say I was very impressed with his attitude post race.
Should Ewan have been relegated? Well, the man himself, his Sports Director and Robbie McEwan don’t think so, but the commissaires decision is final. Have a closer look at the overhead and make your call
Thankfully there were no serious injuries but a final decision on his fitness to ride will be taken before stage 6
Just in case you were dreaming of cobbled racing in March
Full report at Cycling News.
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