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The bunch finish into Scalea was Ewan’s first proper run at victory since the start of the race after crashing in the final meters of the opening stage, being out of position on stage 3, and getting dropped on yesterday’s climb after suffering a mechanical issue.
“It’s second, so it’s not so good,” was Ewan’s curt assessment of the result.
Ewan was well placed going into the final 300 meters, sitting on Mark Cavendish’s (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) wheel in the center of the road. The Australian followed Cavendish as the Manxman launched his sprint, before switching out right to try and get past with about 200 to go.
Arnaud Démare was latched onto Ewan’s wheel as he made his move, with the Groupama-FDJ rider biding his time for a few more meters before he kicked it up another gear.
Ewan and Démare were elbow to elbow with less than 50 meters to go and it was the Frenchman that took the win after a tense examination of the photo finish, pipping Ewan by the skin of his tires.
“The team did what they had to do today and dropped me off perfectly. That way, I could start my sprint when I wanted to,” Ewan said. “It looked very good but in the end I just got beaten by an inch on the line.
“Of course, I’m really disappointed to just miss out on the stage victory,” he said. “But we need to take away from today that it could have gone our way as well. The shape and the team are there and of course I am keen on taking revenge.”
Replays of the sprint showed that Ewan likely lost the victory with the timing of his bike throw to the line, with Démare going a fraction earlier than him.
“It’s disappointing,” Ewan said. “It was super hard and super messy but Démare was just faster.”
Ewan has said that he plans to leave the Giro before the biggest mountains arrive so that he can keep some energy for the Tour de France. His chances of leaving the race with a stage win are dwindling by the day.
He may have another chance to go for a win on the lumpy stage 8, while there are two flat stages in the first half of the second week, though he will have to tackle the formidable Blockhaus ascent if he wants to go that far.
— ammattipyöräily (@ammattipyoraily) May 12, 2022