Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice. Having committed what he described as a ‘rookie error’ on the second stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour in celebrating too early, the young Australian made amends on the final day with a powerful sprint that lasted all the way to the line – beyond it even.
“I think I sprinted past the line a bit, just to make sure,” Ewan joked in his post-race press conference, revealing he received some stick back in the Orica-Scott camp on Friday.
“I was worried my teammates would be angry, but they all laughed it off. They’re a great bunch and they knew I was probably bashing myself up about it more than them. They were joking about it but it was all good. It was a really silly mistake and it’s going to annoy me for a bit, but I’d have been more annoyed if I didn’t win today.”
Ewan’s clumsy error was all the more disappointing given that he practically threw away a first victory against one of the top brass of the sprinting world.
The 22-year-old had come up against Mark Cavendish, Marcel Kittel, and Andre Greipel individually in the past, but had never managed to get the better of one of them in a head-to-head. Here he atoned and ticked off all three in one fell swoop.
“These guys are the ones setting the benchmark in sprinting, so to be able to beat them is massive for me,” he said. “It shows I’m progressing.”
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